Official visit to Kenya: UNDP reception
Your Royal Highness
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you so much, Crown Princess Victoria – it is always good to travel to a new country in the company of the best of neighbours, a very competent UN colleague and a good friend.
I am so happy to be here in beautiful Kenya – for the first time!
As Her Royal Highness mentioned, our first day of this visit has been substantial and inspiring.
I have served as Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP for almost 20 years. Over this period, I have seen first-hand the crucial work carried out by the UN in cooperation with national governments.
Also here in Kenya we have seen examples of good partnership: It was a real boost to meet the vital entrepreneurs at the Adenian Labs, and to see the good work you do at Kitengela – where technology is playing a role in enabling households to contribute to waste regeneration and livelihood creation for waste collectors.
Norway is a strategic partner to Kenya and works in close cooperation with UNDP and the rest of the UN family. UNDP’s partnership framework with Kenya is fully aligned with the Government’s Vision 2030.
The theme of the Country Programme Document is to "leverage partnerships to safeguard development gains by building resilience and accelerating recovery for the achievement of the SDGs through Kenya’s Vision 2030".
All this in order to address root causes hampering sustainable development.
The vision is ambitious and ensures national ownership and leadership to deliver development results for Kenyans.
We have many gains to build on – thanks to many decades of excellent collaboration between the UN and Kenya in the areas of governance, decentralization, access to justice, climate, and the environment.
The new UN cooperation framework for 2022 to 2026 calls for more joint programmes. UNDP sees potential for strengthening collaboration and partnerships around key thematic areas such as youth empowerment, innovation and digitalisation, climate resilience and gender.
Sectors such as waste management and mangrove conservation are beginning to provide genuine opportunities to create jobs and income – like Kitengela is a good example of.
I am really looking forward to our visit to Kwale tomorrow, and to the mangrove conservation and restauration at the Mikoko Pamoja project.
Another major example is the close partnership between the Government of Kenya and the UN family on the ongoing drought response.
Roughly 4 million Kenyans are in urgent need of food assistance because of the drought. The drought is affecting current production levels. Rising input costs – including fertilisers – will also have an impact on future productivity in the agriculture sector in the longer term.
UNDP provides technical assistance in designing systems that are more resilient to frequent and more intense shocks.
UNDP is committed to supporting Kenya’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and helping Kenya to return to its plus five percent growth trajectory.
Ultimately, everything you are doing here, and everything the UN is doing to achieve the SDGs, is about people – as mentioned by Her Royal Highness.
People today and people of tomorrow.
At our best, we pull together and work towards common goals. I would like to thank every one of you that are here tonight for what you are doing to create a better future for us all.
Asante sana! (Thank you!)