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Enhancing effectiveness of Affirmative funds

Affirmative funds will no longer be disbursed through intermediary banks. Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki noted that some of the financial intermediaries charged punitive interest rates which limited accessibility by target beneficiaries and hampered repayment.
She spoke during a consultative meeting with CEOs and Members of the Boards of the affirmative funds under her ministry, to come up with measures to address challenges facing the disbursement of the funds, enhance effectiveness and ensure they meet the desired objectives.

It was also observed that the funds have been operating under management boards that are not fully constituted while some were under the stewardship of acting CEO’s, with thin staff establishments, thus hampering smooth operations.
The Cabinet Secretary undertook to ensure that the boards are properly constituted and substantive Chief Executive Officers appointed to strengthen governance. She emphasized the need to carry out an impact evaluation exercise for the funds to generate outcomes and lessons for scaling up. The evaluation exercise will look into the funds impact on improved households, job creation and poverty reduction.

To increase efficiency in delivering services to the target groups, agencies will be expected to share resources and facilities under the administrative support and coordination of the office of the Directorate of Youth Affairs at the county and sub-county levels.
The affirmative funds were established by the Government to, among other things, enhance the capacity of women, young people and persons living with disability to start and manage micro and small enterprises and expand access to finance through grants and affordable credit.

CS Raise the bar of integrity

Public Service, Youth and Gender Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariukihas called on staff in her ministry to set high standards of probity and raise the bar of integrity.

She said this during a one day strategic retreat for senior staff in her ministry at the Kenya School of Government (KSG).
During the retreat, the Cabinet Secretary launched a special rapid results initiative (RRI) team to drive results on the Ministry’s priority areas and emphasized the need to instill a culture of integrity that focused on productivity and growth.

She urged the two state departments to work together to deliver jointly as one ministry and reverse the negative attention that some of the ministry’s programs had attracted in order to win back public confidence.
“I expect us to cultivate a team spirit, mutual trust and leverage on each other’s strengths so as to harness the different synergies for improved service delivery,” she said

Staffs were also asked to focus not just on processes but also impact as the ultimate goal.
Staff who resist change, misappropriate funds and perform dismally were put on notice.
The retreat brought together senior staff to focus on priority areas and strategize on how to efficiently deliver on the mandate of the Ministry.

Kenya marks International day of zero tolerance to FGM

Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking this year’s International day for zero tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at Tot, in Elgeyo –Marakwet County and Loitoktokin Kajiado County on 6th February 2016.

The celebrations were also held in other areas where the vice is prevalent such as Garissa, Isiolo, TharakaNithi, Kuria and Kisii Counties.

This year’s theme was “Together, mobilizing to contribute to the achievement of the new global goals through the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030.

The celebrations were presided over by the Cabinet Secretary, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Sicily Kariuki who disclosed that Kenya recorded the highest drop in the prevalence rates of Female Genital Mutilation in the world in the last five years. The country recorded a drop of 6% from 27% in 2009 to 21% in 2014.
MrsKariuki attributed the progress made in the fight against FGM to the collaboration with key stakeholders such as grassroots leaders, councils of elders, civil society, non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations.

She urged them to escalate efforts to fight the vice adding that the vice had adversely affected the dreams of many young girls and grossly violated their basic human rights. Mrs. Kariuki lauded the Anti-FGM Board for spearheading the fight against FGM.

The Cabinet Secretary said the government had also put in place legislation and policies for prevention and response to Gender Based Violence to enhance the empowerment of women and the gender agenda.

The event was attended by the Elgeyo Marakwet, Alex Tolgos, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Women Representative, Alice Chebet, the Chairperson of the Ant—FGM board, Ms. Lina Jebii Kilimo and the Principal Secretary, Gender Ms. Zeinab Hussein.

Change of Guard at NYS

Richard Ethan Ndubai is the new Director General of the National Youth Service. He was sworn in at a ceremony witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Statehouse, Mombasa in January this year.

Ndubai, a former permanent secretary for performance contracting has a wealth of experience in the public service, having worked in government and other different capacities for over 30 years.
The President expressed his desire to revive a robust youth programme and entrusted the new Director General to steer the institution to greater heights.

“Ndubai’s first task is to clean up NYS, rid it of corrupt elements, and rogue deal makers,” said Statehouse spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu.

This appointment comes after recent problems that bedeviled NYS occasioning the need to enhance strategic leadership and management at the institution.

Ndubai will ensure adequate supervision in all aspects of NYS operations and instill appropriate work ethic and discipline. “It has become imperative to guarantee institutional autonomy of the NYS and in line with recommendations by the EACC, the Director General is in the long run expected to be the Accounting Officer of the Service,” the President said.

Mr. Ndubai holds a MA degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Commerce - accounting option - from the University of Nairobi. He is due to graduate with a PhD in Performance Contracting, Measurement and Public Service Delivery from the same university.

PS Zeinab in Addis for Gender Pre-Summit Meeting

Gender Affairs Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein attended the just concluded 2016 Gender Pre- Summit Meeting at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 18th to 20th January 2016.

During the meeting, the first AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Gender was launched. Among the issues discussed was acceleration in the implementation of commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Countries will be expected to prepare and implement action plans in relation to the theme.

The Gender Pre-Summit meeting was held within the context of the AU 2016 theme of “African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on Women Rights”. The theme marks the second consecutive year that gender equality and women’s empowerment has been at the top of the AU Agenda.

The meeting was organized by the AU Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commision and drew participants from Ministers responsible for Gender and Women Affairs and other senior government officials from AU member countries.

Others were representatives from Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector, United Nations Agencies and Development Partners.

Mrs. Hussein was accompanied by Gender Director Mrs. Katherine Muoki.