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NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Macharia Kamau(L), principal secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs receives a cheque worth 500,000 U.S. dollars towards the hosting of the High Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy from Jabor Bin Ali Al-dosari, Qatar’s ambassador to Kenya in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Oct. 30, 2018. Kenya plans to focus on the blue economy in order to achieve prosperity for its people, an official said on Tuesday.  XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

Kenya to focus on blue economy to achieve prosperity: official 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to focus on the blue economy in order to achieve prosperity for its people, an official said on Tuesday.

Macharia Kamau, principal secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, told journalists in Nairobi that for the last 50 years Kenya has focused on the brown economy and neglected the oceans and seas.

“We need to build the capability of those living in the oceans and sea so that they can exploit opportunities that exist in the blue economy,” Kamau said during a ceremony where Qatar gave a donation of some 500,000 U.S. dollars towards the hosting of the High Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy which will take place from Nov. 26 to 28.

The outcome of the conference is expected to form part of the global conversation on sustainable development of the blue economy.

Kamau said that Kenya has faced many challenges in trying to exploit its marine resources despite having a sea front that is 1,000 kilometers long.

He noted that over 80 percent of fish products consumed locally come from lakes and rivers with the remainder from the oceans.

“We have not been able to exploit our own oceans so that we ensure that at least 90 percent of proteins come from the oceans and seas like other countries,” he added.

Kamau said that beyond fish there are many other resources such as minerals in the ocean that can create wealth and employment opportunities for Kenyans.

According to the government official, preparations for the High Level Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy are now complete.

“We are now working on the logistics of the conference and matters of execution of the program itself,” he added.

Kenya expects about 190 countries to participate, out of which 129 have confirmed so far with about three weeks to go.

In addition, Kamau said that in the next few days all those who registered through the United Nations are expected to come on board the conference.

He revealed that at the moment 4,200 participants have signed up with another 2,000 expected to register in the next few days.



UN urges Kenya to partner with private sector on non-communicable disease

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday urged Kenya to partner with the private sector to combat non-communicable diseases.

Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kenya, told a health forum in Nairobi that public-private partnerships are critical because conditions such as hypertension cardio-vascular diseases and diabetes are now a major threat to public health.

“Kenya should partner with the private sector who have the crucial technology, innovation and finance to help the country combat the non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” Chatterjee said during the Healthy Heart Africa Program’s four year anniversary and high level panel session on leveraging public-private partnerships to integrate NCDs prevention and control in primary health care.

Chatterjee said that the cost of treating NCDs in Kenya could bankrupt the state-owned National Hospital Insurance Fund, if the country does not prioritize preventive steps to fight the NCDs.

He said that the private sector should be incentivized to inject financial technology and innovation to complement government efforts to promote a healthy nation.

Chatterjee observed that public finance is not sufficient to prevent and treat the entire population, adding that the best outcome in the health sector is achieved through a blended finance mechanism.

He observed that the UN is currently building capacity at the county level to co-create with other stakeholders high-impact and best value-for-money health programs.

“But ultimately health must be owned by government and must have a return on investment so that it is sustainable,” Chatterjee said.

He noted that Kenya is likely to achieve universal health care in the next four years because it has so far demonstrated political will to achieve the objective.

Rashid Abdi Aman, the chief administrative secretary in the ministry of health, said that public-private partnerships will accelerate the country’s goal to reduce risks associated with NCDs and promote interventions to prevent and control them.

Aman noted that government’s vision seeks to use inclusive and collective multi-sectoral interventions to attain a 25 percent reduction in premature deaths from NCDs by 2020.

He noted that NCDs have now emerged as the second biggest killers in Kenya after HIV/AIDS, with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes cases rising rapidly.


Kenya participation at China import expo to boost trade: envoy

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) which runs from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai offers a platform for Kenya to boost its trade with the Asian country, said Li Xuhang, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya.

“It will be a good opportunity for Kenya to showcase agricultural products to the Chinese market during the expo that will be one of a kind. Kenya has quality farm produce that should be known by consumers in China,” said Li.

He spoke in Nairobi during a briefing attended by senior Kenyan policymakers, lawmakers, scholars and media representatives ahead of the import expo.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead a delegation of horticulture farmers and entrepreneurs to the expo where nine companies will showcase products covering a range of areas like agriculture, financial services, tourism and healthcare.

Li said the import expo that seeks to encourage the import of foreign goods into the Chinese market will present an opportunity for Kenya to boost its volume of goods and services traded with the world’s second largest economy.

“The import expo will also be a good opportunity for Kenya to promote its tourism and investment opportunities,” said Li.

Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said the East African Nation will showcase its heritage as well as unique agricultural products like flowers, coffee, black tea and nuts at the pavilion.

“We sincerely welcome Kenyan exhibitors to take part in CIIE. We believe this is a good beginning for Kenya’s advantageous products to explore the Chinese market and expand its exports to China,” said Guo.



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