President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs and approves cabinet papers

Written By: Claire Wanja
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has Tuesday chaired the third cabinet meeting for this year at State House, Nairobi.

According to a statement sent to newsrooms, the cabinet considered and approved the several Cabinet Papers.

First, the cabinet approved the proposed revival of the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) as a mechanism for growing the blue economy. The recovery strategy proposed among other things, giving the company the sole mandate to handle cargo. The strategy will upgrade Bandari College by building its capacity to change it into an academy and a centre of excellence to train the people that will work in the shipping line.  The revival of the shipping line will also save Kenya Shs 300 billion per annum, money that is normally lost when using other shipping lines. The refurbishing of the shipping line will create 10,000 jobs in the Coast region. It will also integrate the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, Kilindini Harbour and the Northern Corridor to ease the transportation of cargo.

Secondly, they approved the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2017 which is aimed at repealing the Radiation Protection Act and providing a comprehensive regulatory framework for radiation and nuclear safety, nuclear security and safeguards to control radiation sources, nuclear materials and associated waste.

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Third paper approved was persons with Disabilities Bill, 2018. The Bill places emphasis on human rights approach towards the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities in Kenya, and social responsibility to protect and promote them.

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Fourth item approved was the National Policy to Support Enhancement of County Governments’ Own-Source Revenue and the County Governments’ (Revenue Raising Process) Bill, 2018.  The proposed policy is geared towards addressing the challenges County Governments are encountering in revenue collection, mitigating their negative effects and assisting the Counties to optimise own-sources revenue.

The cabinet also approved the proposed restructuring of the National Youth Service (NYS), to deal with the serious managerial and operational challenges that have been reported at the NYS in the recent past.  It is proposed that a raft of measures be put in place.  Key among these are the establishment of an oversight board which will effectively make the organisation a body corporate with a Director General as the CEO.  It also proposed a clean-up of the Supply Chain Management function as well as budgetary and Internal Audit reforms be undertaken, among other measures. Also granted was approval for Kenya to vie for a non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for two years (2021-2022) at the elections to be held during the 74th session of the UN in 2020.  Membership of the UN Security Council will enhance Kenya’s influence in international decision-making, particularly on matters of peace and security for the benefit of the nation and the region at large.  A campaign strategy has already been drawn.

At the same time, the cabinet approved a privately initiated investment proposal to develop a cable car system to address the human traffic challenges across the Likoni channel.  The project which will be sponsored by a Kenyan and Austrian company will be capable of moving 5,500 passengers per direction per hour (or 11,000 passengers per hour in both directions).  It is estimated to cost Kshs 4.1 billion and will be implemented as a 25 years Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT).

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Under the chairmanship of President Uhuru Kenyatta, they approved the establishment of the National Kiswahili Council.  This proposal is in line with Article 137 of the East African Community Treaty which provides that Kiswahili shall be promoted, developed and used as a “Lingua franca” of the Community.  The Council will be a consultative body whose functions will include improving Government Policy on developing, protecting and supporting Kiswahili and coordinating the work of national and regional associations, cultural entities, educational and other organisations working in the area of Kiswahili

They also approved the elevation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed earlier between Kenya and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) into a Host Country Agreement.  TMEA was set up by the participating development partners of the EAC as an agency or multi-donor vehicle for joint coordination, and execution of partners’ support of the integration of the EAC.

They also granted approval for Kenya to host the 123rd Session of the International Coffee Council which is scheduled to be held from 8th to 12th April, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.  The International Coffee organisation (ICO) is the main Inter-Governmental Organisation for Coffee which brings together Coffee producing and consuming countries to discuss Coffee issues.  The International Coffee Council is ICO’s governing body.  The meeting will provide an opportunity for member countries to discuss wide ranging issues in the sector as well as create an opportunity to market Kenyan Coffee.

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Also the hosting of the joint 24th International Grasslands Congress (IGC) and the 11th International Rangelands Congress (IRC) to be held in Nairobi from 24th to 31st October, 2020.  Hosting the joint IRC and IGC congress in Kenya will aid in reigniting and galvanising interest and investment in range and grassland research and development for the betterment of the livestock industry. In addition to hosting the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) which is scheduled to take place in Nairobi from 26th to 28th November, 2018.  The Conference will bring together over 4000 participants to discuss issues pertaining to a blue economy strategy that promotes people-centred sustainable investment in the sector.  By hosting the Conference, Kenya will affirm its appreciation of the importance of using our water resources sustainably.

According to the statement, hosting all the above Conferences will not only create an avenue for exchange of experiences and ideas but will also help in promoting Kenya as a favourable tourism and conferencing destination.

“The local hospitality industry will also benefit from increased business that will come with the many local and foreign delegates that will visit the country.” It added.

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