Kenya: State House Spokesperson’s Press Briefing At State House

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome.

Thank you for joining us.

State House Summit on Tourism:

In the past week, here at State House Mombasa, we hosted our fourth State House Summit, on Tourism and the Environment.

These Summits aim to create a platform for stakeholders to engage on issues of interest. Wednesday’s summit focused on Tourism and Environment, and we are glad it elicited such widespread engagement from citizens through broadcast, print, and new media.

Tourism is critical to the economic growth and development of both Mombasa and neighbouring counties, as well as the country as a whole. It is an area in which President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has invested heavily. What we learnt from the summit was that all stakeholders want to work together to lift the sector; and in that they can feel secure in the knowledge that the President is doing everything possible to ensure that their efforts are both coordinated and bear fruit.

Tourism is fast racing towards recovery.

This Administration has focused on improving security, infrastructure and marketing in its plans to invigorate the Tourism sector. These are enablers that will accelerate the recovery of the industry.

Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and other industry players discussed other measures taken to revitalise the sector, and in the coming weeks we expect this work to continue.

As many of you may have noticed, in a week in which we discussed tourism, we had an unexpected friend promoting Kenya as a destination. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pictures from serene Naivasha were a welcome contribution.

May I also add that Mr Zuckerberg did not wait to be invited to the Tourism summit to play his part.

The President looks to these summits to nurture honest and critical exchange of ideas and feedback among stakeholders, ultimately leading to improved service delivery for the Kenyan people, who are the biggest stakeholders in these issues.

We will continue the State House Summit series in the course of coming weeks. Our next Summit will be on Health and will take place on the September 12, 2016 at State House Nairobi.

President Kenyatta Tour of Coastal Counties:

President Kenyatta has had a frenetic schedule while in Mombasa, for the past few days.

Let me recap some of the work he has attended to. The President kicked off his visit to the Coast region by opening two key markets that will improve the working environment for small traders in Mombasa.

President Kenyatta opened the refurbished Kongowea Market, which has a capacity of 12,500 people and was built at a cost of at a cost KSh 320 Million. The President later opened the Mackinnon Market, refurbished by the National Youth Service at a cost of KSh 17 Million.

He also opened the ASK International Show and the KSh30 billion Phase one of the Second Container Terminal.

President Kenyatta launched a number of projects that will boost the economy and improve the welfare of Coast residents.

Particular focus was given to roads, hospital equipment, title deeds, and electricity, where, under the last mile connectivity programme, thousands more homes are being connected for the first time.

In Hola, the President pledged that Tana River county will cease using a generator and be connected to the national grid for the first time from September 15.

Other projects commissioned were:

� Upgrading of Madogo-Bura-Hola Road

� Improvement of Charedende-Bura Road

� KSh400 million equipment at Hola Referral Hospital

� 110 km Malindi-Kakokeni-Sala Gate Road

� KSh380 million equipment at Kilifi Level 5 Hospital.

� Upgrading of KMTC Msambweni

� Commissioning of upgraded Mkanda Dam which will serve 30,000 people

While we are on that subject of development, let me highlight the progress made in connecting primary schools to electricity in Mombasa County.

� Changamwe 12 schools

� Jomvu 7

� Kisauni 13

� Nyali 11

� Likoni 18

� Mvita 29

That means that all 90 schools in these constituencies have electricity.

Africa Green Revolution Forum, 2016:

This week, the President will return to Nairobi to address a number of important gatherings.

Coming so soon after the highly successful Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD), will be the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).

This is a much smaller affair, with some 2,000 guests. It will run from September 6-9 and will be hosted at United Nations Complex in Gigiri.

This Forum brings together stakeholders in Africa to share the expertise, advance policies and secure investments in agriculture that will move African agriculture forward.

The forum will encourage investment in the agricultural sector, to end hunger, improve nutrition, and drive economic opportunities for Africa and its people.

AGRF has attracted political and financial support from development partners and the private sector. Some Heads of State are due to attend the Forum, and will be joined by leading philanthropists such as Bill Gates, African telecoms entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa. Philanthropist David Rockefeller and Administrator of USAID Gayle Smith.

International Olympic Committee:

The President has noted communication attributed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario is driving that agenda forward, and so the President does not wish to make any substantive comments.

That said, there is one issue to note. The matter of integrity is so well canvassed in the Olympic Charter. In Article 2 of its Charter, the IOC says that Olympic parties must use due care and diligence in fulfilling their mission. At all times, they must act with the highest degree of integrity, and particularly when taking decisions, they must act with impartiality, objectivity, independence and professionalism.

They must refrain from any act involving fraud or corruption. They must not act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement.

In Article 3, the Charter adds that Olympic parties or their representatives must not, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or offer any form of remuneration or commission, nor any concealed benefit or service of any nature, connected with the Olympic Games.

So, it is clear that government’s approach is consistent with, and in support of the IOC’s own stand in these matters. A resolution of the matter will have to be seen in that context.

Jubilee Party Politics:

Obviously some of you have been asking me about the party and the conventions. The party has its own communication systems and will communicate as appropriate.

Transition:

Lastly, the President would like to pay glowing tribute to the Hon William ole Ntimama, the Hon Dennis Akumu, and the lawyer Da Gama Rose, who all slipped away in the last week.

The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the families of these men who contributed a lot in many ways to the improvement of lives of Kenyans.

Source: Kenya Presidency.