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Kenyans flying high in UN

Sunday May 24 2020

EDITORIAL
By EDITORIAL
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For a country starved of good news lately, the elevation of two Kenyans to key international positions in the United Nations system is heart-warming, indeed.

This development has given Kenyans an opportunity to momentarily take their minds off the coronavirus pandemic that has literally brought the country to a standstill.

With slightly more than 1,000 people infected with Covid-19 and over 50 deaths, this has been one of the gloomiest periods in the country for a long time.

Now Kenyans can savour the recognition of two of their own by international organisations, which recognise their abilities to contribute to global causes.

Incidentally, the acting director-general of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, who has emerged as one of the key faces in the campaign against the spread of Covid-19, has been elected as the vice-chairperson of the executive board of the World Health Organisation.

Another Kenyan enjoying the international limelight is Ms Sanda Ojiambo, a Safaricom executive, who will be joining the United Nations at a significantly high level.

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She has been appointed to head the agency that engages private companies all over the world to persuade them to align their businesses to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Ms Ojiambo as the new executive director of the UN Global Compact agency.

She will assume her new role on June 17, taking with her 20 years of experience during which, besides her stint at Safaricom, she has worked in civil society in various capacities, winning accolades.

It is, however, a little disappointing that Dr Amoth, whom the WHO has seen as a complete professional ready to make a difference in the UN agency at that high level, remains an acting DG in Kenya’s Health ministry.

This confirms that we sometimes underestimate ourselves or totally fail to see the talent sitting right there amongst us.

However, Dr Amoth and Ms Ojiambo have an opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Kenyans have the capacity, knowledge and expertise to serve among the best in the world.

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