President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Kenya’s development partners to support public programs that directly benefit citizens such as the ‘Kazi Mtaani’ youth employment initiative.
The President said ‘Kazi Mtaani’ had not only created gainful employment for thousands of youth but also helped develop their entrepreneurial and financial skills through training.
The Head of State spoke Wednesday during separate meetings with four heads of international organizations who paid him courtesy visits at State House, Nairobi.
President Kenyatta held meetings with Director General of UNON Zainabu Bangura, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya Dr Stephen Jackson, World Bank Country Director for Kenya Keith Hansen and the UN Under-Secretary General for Operations Atul Khare.
Except for Mr Khare who is visiting the country as part of his working tour of the region, the rest of the President’s visitors were recently posted to Kenya and were meeting the Head of State as part of their induction.
President Kenyatta welcomed the newly posted officials to Kenya and assured them of the Government’s full support as they settle into their respective responsibilities.
In the meeting with Ms Bangura, the President said Kenya will continue to raise Africa’s voice in global affairs and thanked the UN for the support the country continues to receive in various sectors.
He said the Government supports UNON’s ambition to transform Kenya into the UN’s regional logistics hub for development, humanitarian and emergency activities.
On her part, the new UNON boss thanked the President for Government’s support in the construction of the Shs 846 million UN hospital in Nairobi, the first of its kind in the developing world.
She said the 150-bed capacity hospital has in recent months grown to become one of the busiest such facility in the UN system catering for patients from across the world.
The new UN Resident Coordinator Dr Stephen Jackson told the President that Kenya had distinguished itself as a progressive and open society in a “difficult region.
Dr Jackson, an Irish national who first came to Kenya in 1986 as a development worker, said his office will continue partnering with the Government in the implementation of projects that support the Big 4 Agenda and the President’s legacy.
Mr Khare, who arrived in the country on Sunday evening from Khartoum, briefed the Head of State on the ongoing UN operations in the region including plans to reposition Kenya as his agency’s regional logistics hub.
The President welcomed the UN’s decision to set up the logistics hub in the country and said the Government will soon unveil a raft of incentives in support of the initiative.
The new World Bank County Director Keith Hansen congratulated President Kenyatta for Kenya’s handling of COVID-19 saying the multilateral lender will support the country’s post pandemic recovery efforts.
Mr Hansen said he was particularly impressed by how the country continues to support household incomes through cash transfer initiatives such as ‘Kazi Mtaani’ during the tough economic times occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He thanked the Government for implementing far reaching fiscal and structural reforms saying Kenya had become a regional model and a valued partner of the World Bank.
On his part, President Kenyatta challenged the new World Bank Country boss to focus beyond large infrastructure projects and invest more in community initiatives with the highest human impact.
Giving the example of how the Government through the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) is transforming the lives of city residents by constructing hospitals, sinking boreholes and opening up roads in informal settlements, the President said such projects benefit wananchi directly.
The President was accompanied in the meetings with his United Nations visitors by Foreign Affairs CS Amb Raychelle Omamo while Treasury CAS Nelson Gaichuhie and his PS Dr Julius Muhia joined the Head of State in the meeting with Mr Hansen.
Also present in the meeting between President Kenyatta and the new World Bank Country Director were Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and State House Deputy Chief of Staff incharge of Strategy Mrs Ruth Kagia.