Siddharth Chatterjee with CS Eugene Wamalwa, Heads of Missions from the United international locations Mission and different development partners visited the Frontier Counties development Council Counties with a view of leveraging on alternatives due to the fact geographic proximities in addressing shared developmental challenges within the marginalized Counties. credit: West Pokot County, February 2020
  • Opinion by means of Siddharth Chatterjee (nairobi, kenya)
  • Inter Press provider

I came back in November 2004 to serve with UNICEF Somalia primarily based out of Nairobi, and in 2006 I got married in Kenya. My son who became three years historic in 2014, has had his early life becoming up in Kenya, and considers himself Kenyan.

the following yr I left to serve in Iraq, and i puzzled if i’d get an opportunity to come back to Kenya. Seven years later, it took place: in April 2014 I came back because the United nations inhabitants Fund representative (UNFPA) consultant and in August 2016, i used to be chosen to steer the UN country crew in Kenya as the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident consultant.

over the years, my bond with the country has been forged via jubilation and the shared suffering of tragedy. I have rejoiced at improvements in lots of fitness indications in counties such as Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo and Lamu where an unconscionable number of women used to die in childbirth, however where first rate growth has been made. I actually have also mourned in horror on the variety of lives misplaced to terror attacks, the murder of 36 quarry people through terrorists in Mandera county (i used to be in Mandera the identical day), the slaughter of blameless college students in Garissa institution and the dastardly assault at Nairobi’s DusitD2 inn.

The conclusion of my tenure as UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya falls on 13 January 2021, with new experiences and challenges expecting me as I put together to soak up my subsequent position as the United countries Resident Coordinator (designate) to China.

this is no longer the end of my relationship with Kenya, however reasonably a chance to improve my ties with the country, and for sharing my advantage and first hand insights about its amazing competencies. it is additionally a chance to entrench South-South-Cooperation, an important a part of the answer to Kenya’s, and greater largely Africa’s, wonderful alternatives to speed up increase.

I realize that Kenya nevertheless faces ambitious challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to deepen this even more. Devolution has brought considerable components and autonomy to counties, and yet lack of means, vulnerable financial and regulatory oversight, will proceed to restrict efforts to fight the asymmetry of wealth and human prosperity which could be an important impediment to Kenya’s upward push.

i’m delighted with the country’s development against its vision 2030 aspirations and the SDGs desires. school enrolment prices are up; extra families are accessing maternal and child health functions; social, financial and political alternatives for ladies have expanded; most important inroads have been made in opposition t child marriage and FGM, with President Kenyatta in my opinion main on this.

My experiences as the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya have reiterated that via prioritizing investments in women and adolescence, Africa’s real expertise will also be unleashed, and i am pleased with the help on this that we now have been able to deliver during the complete UN Kenya country crew.

through 2030 agri-business should be US$ 1 trillion value in Africa. very nearly two-thirds of Kenya’s population is beneath the age of 30, and the way forward for meals production rests of their hands. Kenya’s economy is anchored in agriculture, where 70% of the population earns its livelihood.

In most materials of the realm, crop yields have grown ahead of population increases, assisting to free them from hunger and famine, but not in Africa. We searched for inventive and sustainable ways to harness Kenya’s robust internet penetration to exploit suggestions technology that adds cost and strengthens the economic attraction of agri-enterprise for younger americans and creates digital jobs as smartly.

President Kenyatta has stated that “the latest technology of younger people has the knowledge of expanding Africa’s productive workforce, promotion entrepreneurship and fitting specific instruments of alternate to reverse the devastation led to with the aid of local weather change.”

Africa’s demographic boom has been hailed as its largest promise for reworking the continent’s financial and social consequences, however handiest if the right investments are made to put together its youthful inhabitants for the next day’s world. Kenya launched the era limitless initiative spearheaded by using the head of State, and can function a blueprint to harness the demographic dividend that Africa’s adolescence characterize.

girls’s empowerment became our different key pursuit, with special emphasis on access to sexual and reproductive fitness tips and services. devoid of this, Kenya’s inhabitants is probably going to continue its speedy boost, putting pressure on land and water materials, threatening livelihoods, meals protection, and straining already vulnerable health techniques. positive aspects made in girls’s sexual reproductive fitness and rights took a couple of steps backward in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reproductive rights must be a essential part of our arsenal to battle future pandemics.

it’s in Kenya additionally that I witnessed artistic techniques of overcoming forms. tremendous enterprises are often accused of responding too late or with too little in instances of crisis, and my tenure noticed many. Drought, floods and the worst locust invasion in 70 years, plus the Covid-19 pandemic, all upended plenty hard-earned growth. As a team youngsters, we went past particular person UN company mandates in partnership with the govt of Kenya to promptly set up rapid responses to these emergencies, reducing the socio-economic have an impact on, incomes the self assurance of the govt and overturning the ordinary belief of the UN as an unwieldy bureaucracy.

The executive’s management changed into meritorious on all counts and that is why I actually have mentioned unequivocally why Kenya deserves an A+ for its response to the triple humanitarian disaster.

i’m proud to had been part of many milestones within the partnership between both tiers of the government of Kenya and the UN, and to count number on the unfailing aid of the management of Kenya at all levels of executive. Kenya’s skills is boundless, and the country now presents more desirable systems for brand spanking new shared-cost investments than ever before.

I also express my straightforward appreciation to the whole UN family in Kenya, the development partners, our donors and smartly-wishers and civil society companions and, most of all, the marvelous individuals of Kenya.

With a company belief in a standard destiny, I intend to retain telling the story of the rising powerhouse it really is Kenya.

My wife, son and i raise Kenya in our hearts.

thanks for everything. Your generosity and friendship is nonpareil.

God Bless, Kenya.

Asante, Kenya, na kwaheri hadi tutakapo kutana tena!

Siddharth Chatterjee is the United nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya. comply with him on twitter @sidchat1

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