Raila Odinga

Year: 2019

H.E. RAILA ODINGA’S NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE

We enter 2020 with much work to be done.
It is my hope that we will jointly build on the foundation laid in 2019, which built on the choices we made in 2018, so that we continue building bridges among our people to secure lasting unity and a greater sense of nationhood.

I look forward to a renewed commitment to fighting corruption and it’s unrelenting networks in the country, ending marginalization of communities and regions and restructuring our foundations of governance, including strengthening of devolved units.

I equally look forward to sharing ideas on, and supporting all efforts to address poverty, marginalization and unemployment of the youth and rising cost of living.
Unity for common good will be critical if we are to create a nation in which right is right and wrong is wrong. So far, unity has worked with the war on corruption.

By and large, Kenyans have agreed that individuals should carry their own crosses of graft. I thank our people for this and encourage them to carry this spirit into 2020 and beyond if we are to make corruption a costly and useless venture.

Beyond our borders, I look forward to continued engagement in continental affairs with regard to ensuring greater intra- Africa connectivity and trade through infrastructure.
I look forward to working with everyone in pursuit of these goals.

Working together, we can make this New Year better than the old. A hopeful New Year to all Kenyans.
H.E RAILA ODINGA; EGH
DECEMBER 31, 2019.

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH, ODM PARTY LEADER AT THE JOINT ODM PG/NEC ON THE BBI REPORT; DECEMBER 17, 2019:

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH, ODM PARTY LEADER AT THE JOINT ODM PG/NEC ON THE BBI REPORT; DECEMBER 17, 2019:

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH, ODM PARTY LEADER AT THE JOINT ODM PG/NEC ON THE BBI REPORT; DECEMBER 17, 2019:

Members of Parliament; Governors, MCAs and members of the National Executive Committee.

We are coming to the end of an eventful and successful year for our party and the country.
I therefore want to begin by thanking all of you for the continued commitment to the party and to the country, which enabled us to register some of the gains we have made this year.
With your support and that of members of other parties who believe in the unity and stability of our nation, we successfully defended a seat we had to win, in Kibra.
Along with our partners in the pursuit of a better country, we successfully shepherded and saw the delivery of the report of the Building Bridges Initiative whose core task is to build on the gains of the dying decade and take us to new heights as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century.

Our main task here today is to put our leadership on the same page on the BBI and have you relay the same to our supporters across the country as we return to the people for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

From the outset, I wish to reiterate my firm belief that the BBI is good for our country. It is our second chance to do a makeover. I thank the international community; including the African Union, the US Government, the EU and the UK for the support they have given to the Initiative and for sharing our belief that it is a chance for a New Beginning for Kenya.

I wish to assure everyone that we mean well for our country and for the community of nations that value peace and stability across the globe. I hope we will continue walking and working together on these goals.

Kenya is on the threshold of a new beginning to realize the goals that have eluded us over the years. Some of these goals were captured in the Constitution we unveiled in 2010. We have had time now to see what is working, what needs to be tweaked and what needs to be overhauled. That is the journey we embarked on with the BBI and it is set to continue into next year.

We have not pursued the BBI dream at the expense of the dreams of our party. Our goals as a party and as a country are consistent with those of the BBI.

We recognise that parties and leaders exist to pursue the good of the nation.

Nations begin to die when parties and leaders begin to imagine that they are greater than the nation and that their personal and partisan ambitions should override the national goals.
No party or leader can be greater than the nation. Our nations do not owe us anything. Instead, we owe a debt to our nations.

As a party, it is in our DNA to take a stand on critical issues of the day. ODM never stands or sits on the fence. We never sway with the wind from this side to that when the interests of the nation are at stake.

That is what we have done with the Handshake and the BBI. We have taken a stand based on very clear understanding of what is to be achieved.

We have been able to merge our interests as a party with the broader interests of the nation and supported the BBI.

We are in this to redesign the architecture of our nation.

We are in this to figure out what makes us a nation and distinguishes us from other nations.

The BBI gives us a chance to come up with a Kenyan economic model to secure full employment for citizens especially the youth, protect Human Rights to counter systemic violations; end marginalization of regions and communities by taking more resources to the grassroots while holding leaders accountable for those resources and increasing cohesion in Kenya.

Nobody should have a quarrel with these goals. And these goals surely cannot pose a threat to anybody’s political ambitions.

The initial BBI report that we unveiled over two weeks ago has Kenyans asking that we have to mend our ways or we sink as a country.

Kenyans expressed concern that even as we seek to live together as one people, we lack common ideals and aspirations and the national bonds we have are based on ethnicity and locality. We cannot create a nation until we identify goals that we pursue together and work towards a future that demands our collective sacrifice.

Kenyans spoke clearly that our political and economic systems have failed, that we are running out of time and we have to change direction if we are to avoid a catastrophic future.

The youth in particular spoke strongly that they feel excluded in the affairs of our nation and Kenya seems to have no place for them.
The report tells us that there is deep mistrust for leaders, institutions, and systems. The country is suffering from a trust deficit and there is disrespect for the law at all levels. This disrespect is particularly evident with public officers.

Now these are fundamental misgivings being expressed by our citizens and they are not the only ones. We cannot wish away these concerns.

The BBI enabled Kenyans to voice these concerns that clearly threaten our nation. The same BBI gives us a chance to address these concerns.

From here one, what we should be debating is what to adopt, what to amend and what to discard out of the BBI proposals.

From here therefore, we will task ourselves to sensitise our people about the journey so far, the report itself and the likely scenarios in the days and months ahead.

We will need to be honest with our people and ourselves and stop misleading Kenyans about the contents and intentions of the report.
It is my appeal to all Kenyans to prepare to engage the BBI team that will be going around the country explaining the document with a view to having all shades of opinion captured. It will provide a chance to perfect further what we have.

We should treat this as a chance for the nation to talk to itself about its future. It is not and must not be a shouting or a mudslinging match.

Let us do something with the second chance the BBI has accorded us and not waste it in the pursuit of politics as usual.

Let’s take this Second Chance as an opportunity to throw off a legacy of corruption; tribalism, divisions, dysfunctional institutions and mistrust that have held us back for over 50 years.

It is my hope that as we retreat to our villages for the festivities of Christmas and New Year, we will get more sober, more honest and more concerned about the country and seek to mend our ways and birth a new nation.

I wish you and all Kenyans fruitful and sober deliberations, a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020.

STATEMENT BY RT. HON RAILA ODINGA ON THE NOMINATION OF Ms. MWENDE MWINZI AS AMBASSADOR TO THE REOUBLC OF KOREA:

In the negotiations for the Constitution that we promulgated in 2010, Kenyans in the diaspora put a convincing case for our country to allow dual citizenship. Among other reasons, they demonstrated that they were unable to progress beyond certain grades in employment in foreign countries unless they become citizens of those countries. Until 2010, they could not take citizenship of those foreign countries unless they renounced Kenyan citizenship, which many were not prepared to do.
From the cries of our sons and daughters abroad, we, as a country, agreed to allow dual citizenship, seeing clear advantages that would come with it.
On the development front, the figures bear our diaspora out. Data from the World Bank data indicates that Kenyans living abroad sent home more money last year than the rest of the East Africa Diaspora combined, partly an indication of the changing earnings for our citizens abroad. Kenya’s Diaspora remittances in 2018 stood at Sh280 billion, way more than the Sh242 billion sent to the rest of Eastern Africa — Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Furthermore, remittances from Kenyans in the diaspora currently constitute the country’s single largest source of foreign currency, ahead of major crops and tourism. The Central Bank of Kenya reported that in the 12 months to June 2019, the remittance inflows rose to an all-time high, amounting to Sh285.4 billion from Sh251.4 billion last year, representing a 13.6-per cent growth.
It is against this background that I find the treatment of Ms. Mwende Mwinzi by our Parliament extremely disturbing and dubious. The whole debate around whether she qualifies to be Kenya’s ambassador has cast her as a criminal and reduced her to being less Kenyan than the Members of Parliament while the spirit of letter of the law should protect her. Opposition to Mwende’s appointment amounts to killing the spirit and necessity of dual citizenship trough which Kenyans sought equal rights abroad and at home to enable them contribute to the development of our nation.
But it is not just about the remittances. Mwende Mwinzi was born in the US. That made her an American citizen. But she was born of a Kenyan father and that made her eligible to claim Kenyan citizenship, which she did when her father migrated to Kenya with the family. She thus ended up with being a citizen of two countries. However, she cannot denounce any because both have been acquired not by application and naturalization but by operation of the law. She cannot undo her birth in the USA; neither can she undo her sire by her father or his Kenyan citizenship.
The Constitution protects her from jeopardy by making a proviso for people like her that the bar from holding a State Office by people of dual citizenship will not apply where they cannot renounce it because it is obtained by operation of the law.
Furthermore, under the constitution today, anyone borne of a Kenyan parent is automatically a Kenyan citizen regardless whether they are born in Kenya or not. Under the current constitution she is a citizen of Kenya by birth even if she was born in America.
Article 14 of our Constitution stipulates that:
1) A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.
(2) Clause (1) applies equally to a person born before the effective date, whether or not the person was born in Kenya, if either the mother or father of the person is or was a citizen.
Other than petty vendetta and a refusal by our Parliament to rise above partisan interests and act in the interest of the nation, there is no reason whatsoever for MPs to maintain Ms. Mwende Mwinzi cannot be our ambassador abroad. I appeal to our MPs to always stand up for the nation. Both the law and the interest of the nation allow Ms. Mwende Mwinzi to represent our country abroad.
RT. HON RAILA ODINGA, EGH.
October 5, 2019.

Remarks of Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, EGH, High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, African Union, during the Institute of Directors of Kenya; 3rd Annual Corporate Governance Conference.

Remarks of Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, EGH, High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, African Union, during the Institute of Directors of Kenya; 3rd Annual Corporate Governance Conference.

Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to the Institute of Directors of Kenya for the invitation to talk its members at this interesting time for our country and Africa.

Here in Kenya, we are enjoying a rare period of peace and stability and one that we should all make good use of as corporate sectors.

Across the world, there is agreement that Africa is the next investment and growth frontier. It is with the realization that Africa too is doing more to promote trade with itself and to attract more investment by focusing on infrastructure of transportation, energy and internet connectivity.

That is why in March last year, we created the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which commits countries to remove tariffs on 90 per cent of goods, progressively liberalizes trade in services and addresses a host of other non-tariff barriers. That is a huge step given that intra-Africa trade level stands at just around 20 per cent, while Europe and Asia are at 69 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively.

This meeting therefore provides us with a timely opportunity to identify and discuss issues that affect our corporate sector as a country and develop appropriate ideas and solutions. Our ultimate goal is to enhance corporate governance that will enable businesses here improve their performance and in turn create jobs for our young people and contribute to our economy.

But it goes well beyond jobs and the economy. A strong and thriving corporate sector can be a valuable ambassador for our country in ways no diplomatic representation ever can. That is what global firms like Samsung, Toyota, Sony, Apple, Microsoft, among others, have done for their countries. Corporations have also become proven tools for mobilizing resources for national development especially in the era Private Public Partnerships.

Our ultimate goal must be to have homemade equivalents of these global corporations. It is therefore in our best interest as a nation to ensure a strong and thriving corporate sector.
Kenya remains a vibrant business hub and a regional financial centre. But we have tremendous space for growth by addressing certain basics, like creating a level playing field for all businesses, ensuring a clean and efficient government, creating a prolonged low and simple tax regime and ensuring the rule of law.

For companies to be successful, competitive and sustainable, we need a high standard of governance both in public and private sectors.
We need enhanced corporate transparency from businesses that helps investors to easily analyze the risk profiles and investment potential of companies, monitor their progress and performance, and take action when they believe that directors are not acting in the interests of the companies.

Helping businesses set up here is however just one small portion of a much bigger and complex picture. As we make it easy for corporations to set up shop, we must also attend to related issues like modernizing the corporate winding-up regime; including clear protections for creditors.

If we are going to be a strong and credible corporate destination, we must also work on clear corporate rescue procedures.

We need to come up with ways of ensuring that companies with long-term business prospects facing short-term financial difficulties are rescued. That works in the interests of creditors, shareholders and employees.

As we pursue trade and investment across regions, we must come up with how best ways to resolve cross-border corporate issues.
It requires that we strengthen our front-line regulators, in this case the Nairobi Securities Exchange and empower it to promote the corporate governance of listed companies. The regulator must have capacity for risk management and ensuring disclosure and the accountability of directors. In keeping with global trends, the regulator must incorporate the environmental and social disclosure requirements regardless of their place of incorporation.

It is also important for companies to ensure open and transparent engagement with shareholders to promote consensus-building, pre-empt aggressive shareholder activism and enhance corporate governance.

To reap the benefits of envisaged intra-Africa trade, we need to work together as governments and private sector to ensure win-win outcomes out of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

Seeking a win-win is important given that the agreement brings on board a diverse membership of least-developed, landlocked, small-island, and lower- and upper-middle level countries, as well as countries in conflict.

In the end, the answer to unlocking Kenya’s and Africa’s growth potential is not what they do in Beijing, Washington, DC, London or Paris. It is what we do here in Kenya and in Africa as business and political leaders.

Realizing these goals therefore requires that we build a new coalition in this country.
We require a new and strong coalition between the government, the corporate world, civil society and the faith-based communities to tackle the corruption and impunity that is holding our political and corporate sectors hostage.

We need a coalition that helps us realize a new nation guided by principles of dignity, prosperity and security of citizens as opposed to individual needs.

We need a strong collaboration for our country to achieve changes in our system of governance that will make us realize national rebirth and end the ethnic antagonism and divisive political competition that have become our way of life.

Not everyone agrees, but anyone with the interest of Kenya and that of future generation at heart cannot deny that Kenya has gone full circle with its divisions and that over the years, we have been witnesses to unity and hope being followed by discord and division between our independence and our last election. Nobody can deny that over the years, relationships between our ethnic groups and political formations have deteriorated and it seems to be getting worse with every general election.

No one can deny that from the high pedestal of unity that characterised our struggle for independence, we have increasingly and progressively sunk lower, and relationships between our communities and political formations have become that of aggression and antagonism. We cannot deny that for some time now, our country has been defined by corruption and violence and this is taking deeper roots locally and abroad and all these things affect businesses negatively.

We cannot grow and we cannot build a responsible corporate culture when people have to pay a bribe to start a business or get a tax compliance clearance.

It is my hope that we can work together and realize these high ideals that will ensure a sound environment for business to thrive. We need a strong and new coalition to stop our country from suffering same tribulations that we have lived with since 1963. It is good for the country. It is good for business.
Thank you.

REMARKS OF H. E RAILA ODINGA AT THE LAUNCH OF PRESIDENTIAL OR PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN KENYA; CHOICES TO BE MADE:

REMARKS OF H. E RAILA ODINGA AT THE LAUNCH OF PRESIDENTIAL OR PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY IN KENYA; CHOICES TO BE MADE:

I want to begin with some broad observations on what I see as the overall philosophy behind this book.
One is that the story of today’s strong and prosperous nations is that of starting over again, changing course and seeking rebirth.
Secondly, debate is a good and necessary culture and tradition that every nation that hopes to move forward needs to cultivate.
Nations move forward by constantly debating, challenging old assumptions, refusing to settle and always testing new frontiers and new possibilities.
Thirdly, we must discard fear and fear mongering as a way of dealing with our problems; what President Franklin Roosevelt called “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Nations need to constantly negotiate with citizens and even with themselves on how to move forward and be the best among others.
President J.F Kennedy summarized this mindset in his words; “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
I believe this is the guiding philosophy behind this book.
In a country where politics is driven on the basis of attack, counter attack and more attack, it takes real commitment for a county governor to reflect on critical national issues and put them in a book.
We have to congratulate prof for this rare achievement that is not wholly unexpected.
We have had this tradition of leaders putting their thoughts into books to invite debate. Tom J. Mboya, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkurumah, Leopold Senghor, Jomo Kenyatta, Oginga Odinga all promoted the culture of debate on critical national issues through writing.
This pattern of debate, starting over and seeking rebirth is the story of the USA. It is the story of modern Europe.
As we all know, after the brutal civil war, the USA sought a rebirth that culminated in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.
The amendments outlawed slavery, made the newly freed slaves American citizens, granted them the right to vote, redefined the relationship between individuals and the State, and, for the first time, guaranteed the basic equality of all people, no matter their skin color, station in life or citizenship.
In Europe, after numerous ethnic and civil wars that ended up in two world wars, leaders went all out to make certain that there would not be a third war.
They agreed Europe must be reorganized in some sort of federation or union that could blunt the national jealousies and assuage the economic hungers that had been the precursors of both wars.
This book and this gathering falls in this great tradition of debate and rebirth.
At critical moments in our history, our citizens have got together and debated their future to find a way out.
Am glad that in this room there are men and women who have lived by these broad beliefs and can testify about their necessity.
Looking at the challenges the nation is going through, debating and reasoning are going to be critical.
Through this book, we are being invited to discuss soberly, honestly and candidly some of challenges we face as a country.
There is agreement that for far too long, our country has run on the Politics of Brinkmanship, which now needs to end.
And so some of our leaders and citizens are asking; is their need for amendments to the Constitution of Kenya? If yes, do we go Parliamentary or remain Presidential?
Should we introduce proportional representation as the electoral system or do we retain the current first-past-the-post simple majority procedure.
How do we strengthen and enhance the devolution system or are we satisfied with the system as it is today.
As Prof. Michael Chege writes in the Forward, our violent electoral conflicts every five years are ever about the presidential poll, and seldom or ever about elective positions further down the political hierarchy.
It is also established that electoral violence is more frequent under presidential regimes than parliamentary regimes.
People lose contests for parliamentary or county seats but it never degenerates into widespread violence or any at all. That is good enough reason for the country to relook the National Executive and fix the causes of passionate struggle to win it.
A Parliamentary system is viewed as a better way to raise the majority threshold in a country where tribes view each other with suspicion in the contest for power.
Parliamentary system is generally suitable for plural societies; that is societies in which the political landscape is composed of diverse cultural, religious, ethnic, racial and regional interests, and that is what Kenya is.
But it is not just about the Executive. We are also struggling with how to ensure national cohesion, provision of sound leadership and creating institutions that can stand up for the nation even under the greatest of pressures.
In a nutshell, we have the challenge of how to re-strategize as a country and start over for the future as many successful nations have done.
In our country today, we have strived to create this forum for reasoned debate through the Building Bridges to a New Kenyan Nation.
That team is tackling nine key areas including Ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, divisive elections, safety and security and corruption.
All these critical question that require genuine debate.
They require structured debate without fear.
Unfortunately, such efforts like this by governor Nyongo and the BBI are being hindered by the culture of hatred for debate and preference for fear and fear-mongering.
Debate is the tested way to ensure politics of reason overcomes the politics of fear, whose result often is hatred and division, which, unfortunately, is getting mainstreamed in this country.
And debate is the way to create a well-informed citizenry.
As former US Vice President writes in The Assault on Reason, “If leaders exploit public fears to herd people in directions they might not otherwise choose, then fear itself can quickly become a self-perpetuating and freewheeling force that drains national will and weakens national character, diverting attention from real threats deserving of healthy and appropriate fear and sowing confusion about the essential choices that every nation must constantly make about the future.”
As a country, let us not threaten our citizens against debating their future.
We must guard against fear-mongering and embrace any effort that encourages debate about our current state and our future.
This book is one such effort, as is the BBI.

REMARKS OF H.E. RAILA ODINGA; EGH, AT THE OPENING OF THE 42ND SESSION OF OATUU GENERAL COUNCIL

REMARKS OF H.E. RAILA ODINGA; EGH, AT THE OPENING OF THE 42ND SESSION OF OATUU GENERAL COUNCIL

REMARKS OF H.E. RAILA ODINGA; EGH, AT THE OPENING OF THE 42ND SESSION OF OATUU GENERAL COUNCIL;
Stanley Hotel
Nairobi-Kenya
20th September 2019

It is a great honour for me to join you at this important conference where you focus on advancing Social Justice, promoting decent work and evaluating the role of Trade Unions. As you are all aware, Kenya has a history with the Labour Movement both in Africa and globally. We have a history of established trade unionists who have made a mark across the globe and the current efforts led by brother Francis Atwoli follow this great and established tradition. We support his efforts.
This conference is taking place at a very trying and changing time in the world of labour and work in general. But it is also happening at a very hopeful moment for Africa. Africa is today one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Our middle class is rising and is projected to grow to more than one billion consumers in the decades ahead.
It is happening partly because of our workers and the economic and political reforms we have pursued in the last two decades. We are also meeting at a time the Continent is prioritizing continental integration and trade as the key new drivers of economic growth as envisaged in the Africa 2063 agenda that we are all committed to.
That commitment is seen in the recent formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the new focus on intra Africa trade. The economic take-off we envisage will however not be realized without adequate attention to our workers and the work environment. It must therefore create more impetus for a deeper look into our world of work and the plight of our workers.
That means our workers will need an even stronger and louder voice in the coming decades. It means labour leaders will have to consistently remain on the frontlines of championing the interests and the concerns of the workers and ensure they live and work in dignity.
The challenges ahead call for greater collaboration between Africa’s labour movement and our government to address a number of issues. Our countries need to standardize rules governing the movement of workers; including issuance of work permits and treatment of migrant workers to avoid developments like those recently witnessed on the Continent.
We need to make it easier for our skilled workers to work in and for Africa. Today, partly because of low pay but also because of unclear rules governing acquisition of work permits, a number of our skilled workers find it easier to find work in the western world and only come back home to retire, if they ever return. We must reverse this trend.
Standardization of rules will also have to include reforms that help Africa trade more with itself so that we don’t have to keep looking overseas for trade and skilled labor. It is a challenge our labour leaders must consistently tackle by working in close consultations with our governments. When we trade more, we create work for our people.
Labour movements will also have to work with governments to ensure a speedy modernization of our customs and border crossings to make it easier for us to trade with each other, for workers to move from country to country and for investors to set up shop and provide jobs.

Clear rules of engagement will enable us see each other as partners rather than competitors in the grand plan to make Africa great and competitive.
Often, the unfortunate happenings of struggling Africans turning against fellow struggling Africans are never government policies.
Such happenings result from frustration with the inadequacy of our economies and the smallness of the ugali.
Such acts need to be condemned strongly and punished. However, rather than lead to condemnation of each other, withdrawal from and retaliation against nations where they occur, these acts should be reason for greater collaboration so that our nations are able to cook a bigger cake together. They should be reason for individual nations and regional economic communities to invest more in their economies and greater education of our people to be their brothers and sisters keepers.
Thank you all.
I wish you fruitful deliberations.

REMARKS OF H.E. RAILA ODINGA AT THE  INAUGURAL CONFERENCE IN AFRICA  “Public Private Partnerships Africa’s Next Big Thing;

REMARKS OF H.E. RAILA ODINGA AT THE INAUGURAL CONFERENCE IN AFRICA “Public Private Partnerships Africa’s Next Big Thing;

KAMPALA, SEPTEMBER 16-18TH 2019.
It is my great pleasure to speak at this important conference on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
Our presence here today is an indication of just how things and thinking are changing in Africa.
There is optimism in the continent’s future and new thinking on how to finance the opening up of Africa and all its regions to business, travel and trade. Our countries increasingly recognize the importance of infrastructure to their economic growth and are actively exploring solutions to fund the required development.
There is a new appreciation by our governments that infrastructure bottlenecks will restrict our growth aspirations and are therefore working to provide the infrastructure community with strong value propositions for investment.
As we seek to develop infrastructure, we acknowledge the inadequacies of the traditional mode of infrastructure financing.
To this end, I congratulate the Government of Uganda for this conference that is a clear manifestation of the new thinking to align Africa to the rest of the world with regard to financing infrastructure and related public services.
As a critical gateway to the Continent, eastern Africa needs to position itself to play a significant role in infrastructure financing and development.

We therefore need to begin thinking of innovative financial markets, strong legal system, progressive regulatory framework and ease of funding for purposes of infrastructure.
As you are all aware, strengthening regional integration is identified as a priority and one of the key new drivers of economic growth in the Africa 2063 agenda that we are all committed to.
The formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the new focus on intra Africa trade has created more impetus for more investment in regional infrastructure development.
With the creation of the continental free trade area, we entered a new era of infrastructure development.
The new era forces us to provide a diverse set of infrastructure assets on a grand regional scale as an immediate and urgent priority and challenge.
To achieve this goal, we must do what others cross the world have done before or are doing today; which is using Public Private Partnerships to deliver infrastructure and related public services.
Traditional public funding sources for infrastructure are falling far short of the investment needs, hence the necessity to mobilize private funds.
To succeed, we need to put and pursue all options for PPP on the table, like contracts for private-sector-run road maintenance services and Build-Operate-Transfer or BOT agreements.
To date, we lack clear PPP policy as regional bloc. We also suffer low capacity and lack of institutions responsible for driving PPPs and clear laws and customs governing PPPs especially on a regional scale.

There is also the problem of low quality and age of infrastructure, which discourage serious investors from entering PPP deals with us, alongside bureaucratic procedures and fragmented decision-making.
And we suffer from the all-time old problem of Corruption.
For PPPs to take roots and work, governments must take the lead and create necessary conditions and enabling environments.
It is the responsibility of governments to plan and prioritize individual infrastructure investments that are meant for PPPs, in line with policy targets.
This means we need to prioritize reaching broad agreements as a region on what aspects of infrastructure development to prioritize whether it is roads, energy, railways, pipelines, waterways and airports.
Success with PPPs requires that we arm ourselves with policy actions from participating governments as well as a strong high-level political backing.
High level political backing is critical. The World Bank reports that when the N4 Toll Road linking South Africa’s most industrialized, but effectively land-locked northern and eastern regions of Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces to the Mozambican port of Maputo was completed, it was recognized as a pioneering accomplishment.
It was the first toll road concession signed in Sub-Sahara Africa. It was also the first cross-border transport PPP, and only the second regional PPP in any sector.
Most important is that the project was successful because of high-level support that came directly from the presidents of the two countries.
Our governments need to work together with the private sector and development partners to establish technical assistance facilities dedicated to the identification and preparation of projects.
As a region, we need to develop a short list of well-prepared projects ready for take up on PPP basis.

Luckily, the African Union Commission has prioritized lists of such projects under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) that aims at interconnecting, integrating and transforming the continent. PIDA projects are good candidates for PPP on regional scale.
The World Bank in its PPI report indicates that Africa is doing badly with regard to PPPs.
The World Bank’s PPI Database has recorded only seven regional infrastructure projects on the African continent since 2000. Five have been transport projects, while; two have been natural gas transmission projects. There is room for us to grow in this sector.
We must work on limiting risks for PPP projects through adequate project selection as well as fair, transparent and competitive bidding process.
Risk mitigation must also include guarantees that Governments will honor their contractual commitments throughout the project lifetime.
Working as a region instead of individual countries, it could become easy for us to tap into the assets managed globally by institutional investors, such as pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds for infrastructure projects.
I therefore welcome this initiative by Kampala in the hope that it could be the start of an era of thinking and planning regionally for effective infrastructure development.
I thank everyone for attending and wish you very fruitful deliberations.

RAILA ODINGA BRIEFED ON KISUMU SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE PROJECTS:

RAILA ODINGA BRIEFED ON KISUMU SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE PROJECTS:

AUGUST 15, 2019:
RAILA ODINGA BRIEFED ON KISUMU SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE PROJECTS:
H.E Raila Odinga this morning received Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Hon. Peter Munya for a briefing on the setting up of the Special Economic Zone in Kisumu, the revival of KICOMI and related projects in the region.
The CS was accompanied by the CEO of the Special Economic Zones authority Dr. Meshack Kimeu and the acting CEO of the Export Processing Zones Authority Mr. George Makateto. They were joined by the governor of Kisumu County Prof. Peter Anyang Nyongo.
Mr. Odinga expressed satisfaction with progress towards setting up the SEZ in Kisumu, including the acquisition of more land and efforts to rope in some of the existing industries to be part of the SEZ. He similarly appreciated work on revival of KICOMI including work undertaken to assess its current state and possible sources for funding for both projects.
He asked the ministry to fastrack both projects in close collaboration with the county government and local institutions of higher learning. Mr. Odinga further called on the ministry to factor in agricultural activities in addition to industries in setting up the SEZ and the revival of KICOMI.
DENNIS ONYANGO
AUGUST 15, 2019.

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH AT ANNUAL JOURNALISM EXCELLENCE AWARD  (AJEA 2019); AUGUST 9, 2019:

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH AT ANNUAL JOURNALISM EXCELLENCE AWARD (AJEA 2019); AUGUST 9, 2019:

REMARKS OF H.E RAILA ODINGA, EGH AT ANNUAL JOURNALISM EXCELLENCE AWARD
(AJEA 2019); AUGUST 9, 2019:
I am honoured to join you at this event where we take stock of the state of our media and reward excellence in journalism. I am equally happy to meet so many friends from this profession in this congregation.
Media Accountability and Good governance, which am informed is the theme for this year, makes for an interesting subject at a very interesting time for our country. These two are at war as we speak.
There is a quiet transition taking place in our country. Many are yet to come to accept or terms with it. It is one of the interesting things happening in our country that Kenyans are counting on the media to capture and explain, accurately and accountably. We are also in the middle of a tug of war on corruption and envisaged constitutional reforms.
We have a corruption war in which suspects have tried to control and shape the narrative and even provide some kind of live feed. Their narrative is that the war is a witch hunt. In an atmosphere that is increasingly getting too charged and too emotional too early, we have seen a war being waged on the reputations of journalists and entire media houses.
So, despite the general calm, we are actually in the middle of a toxic engagement that can be confused and confusing.
I want to begin therefore by acknowledging our media for the courage to steer the conversation back to what really matters. We have seen the media do some exemplary reporting particularly on the emotive subjects of corruption and governance.
Where we have been baited to discuss witch hunt or no witch hunt, the media have pushed back and refocused the debate to the issue of whether we have corruption or not in the first place and whether there is abuse of power and office in this country or not. It is a commendable effort that we have to acknowledge. That did not begin today though.
Over the decades, our media has distinguished itself through bold coverage of issues ranging from corruption to governance to politics and human rights.
That bold exposition has triggered debate that made Kenyans participate actively in the affairs of their country and prevented us from sliding to the abyss like many others in Africa.
You have sustained the crusading tradition that helped this country overcome the single party era and also made us realize a new constitution.
We have been through Goldenberg, Saba Saba riots, the Anglo Leasing and now the dams scandal to mention a few of the mega corruptions that the media have boldly shaped conversation on. It is a glorious tradition that you must continue and safeguard against those who want to trash and trample on it.
Like everywhere else, the media in Kenya are far from perfect. They make big mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes seem deliberate or sponsored to use a Kenyan word while others look like normal human error. Whatever the case, any mistake by the media, no matter the cause, often has grave ramifications. I therefore want to encourage you to always realize that as journalists, you are writers of the early drafts of history.
Historians, biographers and future politicians and other leaders in all fields will draw heavily from the early drafts that you write today.
It is a heavy responsibility you must bear with extreme care, without emotions or feelings.
Like every other public figure, I have occasionally felt maligned and misunderstood by the media.
But I reject the attempt to generalize that into some kind of vendetta and a permanent war against the journalists.
I remain opposed to any kind of threats to or any organized campaign against the credibility of the media or individual journalists.
But let us face it. I know that our media feel embattled right now because of the atmosphere of mistr…

REMARKS OF RT. HON. RAILA A. ODINGA, EGH, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE NATIONAL  YOUTH WEEK

REMARKS OF RT. HON. RAILA A. ODINGA, EGH, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE NATIONAL YOUTH WEEK

REMARKS OF RT. HON. RAILA A. ODINGA, EGH, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE NATIONAL
YOUTH WEEK CELEBRATIONS AT THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, GIGIRI, NAIROBI ON FRIDAY, 9TH AUGUST 2019:

Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure and a privilege to be with you this morning for this year’s National Youth Week.
The theme of the “Intersection Between Education and Global Opportunities” ties well with Goal Number Four of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that requires governments to ensure inclusive and sustainable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.

I congratulate the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs for the dedicated coordination of the observance of this day and for recent initiatives, including the transformation of our National Youth Service to ensure it serves our young people and our country.

Distinguished guests,
The Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey Labor Force Basic Report in 2016 shows that youth who lack early learning and basic education are the most vulnerable and most likely to experience unemployment.
We all know youth unemployment is a bomb waiting explode not only in Kenya but also across Africa and much of the world.
We must therefore adequately transform education to become a powerful tool for achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development of our national Big 4 Agenda. We must work at making education provide young people with a realistic, affordable and attractive path to productive employment.
Kenya has made robust strides in education over the last seven years with youth access to education improving significantly.
I am aware that Gross Enrollment Rate improved from 69.4 per cent in 2012 to 77. 1 per cent in 2017. By January, 2019, we had attained a 93 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary levels of education.
Despite these strides, education mismatch with the industry remains a big challenge. While there are more educated young people looking for work, employers say they cannot find the skills they need. The labour market is suffering from this significant skills mismatch.
The qualifications and experiences that young job seekers possess clearly do not to align with what employers are looking for.
This means that even as young people struggle to find work—and millions are out there seeking jobs—many high-skilled jobs remain unfilled.
Left without the type of training they need to meet the demand for highly specialized skilled labour, young people especially in the developing world risk being left behind further.

There is therefore need to do more to focus young people, employers, and education providers on improving employment readiness. There is need to give our students more and better-quality information about different career paths. There is also need for our education to focus more on what happens to students after they leave school.

Education providers have no option but to work more closely with employers to make sure they are offering courses that really help young people prepare for the workplace. We must also do away with a situation where employers sit and wait for the right applicants to show up at their doorsteps. We need to create an environment where employers and education providers work closely to design curriculum that fits business needs.
We must work on providing on-the-job apprenticeship system that has worked for other thriving economies.
In some advanced economies like China and Germany, employers even participate in teaching by providing instructors.

This is an area in which the United Nations has a lot to share with the government and partners present here today.
As a country, we are agreed that transforming education to connect with local and global opportunities is a MUST if we want to succeed and be among the world leaders.

I am informed that it is against this background that the government has rolled out the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) with the aim of emphasizing the significance of developing skills and knowledge and also applying those competencies to real life situations.

I am further informed that the focus of CBC is to inculcate competencies in seven key areas namely: communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, learning to learn and self-efficacy.

This is expected to lead to the emergence of innovative and transformative minds from our education system able to provide solutions to the challenges besetting our society.
We are alive to the fact that the technological changes sweeping the globe, including rapid advances in automation, artificial intelligence and robotics will likely worsen the problem of mismatch between skills and employment opportunities.

I am aware that it is in this regard that the ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender is implementing the Kenya Youth Empowerment and Opportunities Project with the support of a Ksh15 billion grant from the World Bank.
The program is currently being implemented in 17 counties seeking to provide skills to the youth and increasing their employment and earning opportunities through training and entrepreneurship support.

It is our wish that the agencies present here join hands to expand and upscale the program to cover the entire country.
The government is also implementing the Ajira Digital Project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Information and communication Technology to empower over one million young people to access digital job opportunities.
If implemented according to plan, the project will position Kenya as a choice labor destination for multinational companies as well as encourage local companies and public sector to create digital and online work.

The government is also striving to reform and revamp the National Youth Service to make it more responsive to current demands.
This institution holds tremendous potential and needs support to enable it cater especially for segments of our youth that are not geared towards white-collar employment.

I know many of us associate the institution with corruption but I note with satisfaction that many structural, management, procurement and financial changes have taken place.
All these efforts ladies and gentlemen, are geared towards addressing the problem of youth unemployment and ensuring education meets the practical needs of our people. We need your helping hand and your cooperation.
I thank you.