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Equity Group,UN systems, sign partnership to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Kenya

The partnership execution strategy will incorporate and involve the larger ecosystem and will transition from policy development to driving on the ground implementation through collaboration with key stakeholders such as Government, NGOs and the private sector.

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United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Dr Stephen Jackson(Left) and Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi display the signed UN partnership agreement documents.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Equity Group and Equity Group Foundation together with the United Nations system in Kenya, and its SDG Partnership Platform have signed a strategic partnership to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya by 2030.

The strengthened partnership will promote and catalyze investments in the SDGs beyond short term cycles, enabling the UN system in Kenya to reach more people on the ground through Equity’s strong brand in the community, its infrastructure network, development expertise and local knowledge.

Additionally, the partnership will promote social and financial inclusion improving economic outcomes for human development and contributing to the socio-economic transformation of Kenya.

The coming together of the two institutions will support Kenya’s transition as an emerging Middle-Income country through harnessing innovative partnerships, investments, and financing to accelerate the SDGs for poverty alleviation, and minimizing reliance on aid for transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the Kenyan people.

“Equity is joining this alliance as the implementation partner for various social impact initiatives aligned to the SDGs with the end goal of trickling down to the local communities. We will deploy USD 6 billion on the SDG Partnership Platform and we expect 5 million MSMEs to benefit from this financing within the region. We are convinced that these enterprises will create at least 5 jobs each. The engine of job creation is enterprises which will also create market for the raw products from our communities and address the issue of unemployment.” said Equity Group MD and CEO Dr. James Mwangi.

Equity Group whose purpose is to transform lives, give dignity and expand opportunities for wealth creation, continues to play a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Through its regional banking subsidiaries, Equity continues to collaborate with UN agencies in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and in other footprint countries.

Through the enhanced partnership, Equity will work together with the UN Resident Coordinators Office, the SDG Partnership Platform and the 23 UN agencies with operations in Kenya to accelerate knowledge management for SDG achievement, with training and catalytic investments to facilitate market access and cross border trade across diverse value chains especially for women and youth entrepreneurs for on the development and implementation of Equity’s `Africa Plan for Resilience and Recovery’, in light of the impacts of COVID-19.

Arif Neky, Senior Advisor UN Strategic Partnerships and National Coordinator SDG Partnerships Platform commented on the same saying, “This partnership with Equity excites us because many Equity Group Foundation principles are aligned to those of the UN. Working with Equity, we shall connect and catalyze partnerships and investments in the SDGs beyond short term cycles, particularly enabling us to reach the people on the ground through Equity’s network.”

The partnership execution strategy will incorporate and involve the larger ecosystem and will transition from policy development to driving on the ground implementation through collaboration with key stakeholders such as Government, NGOs and the private sector.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership, UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya, Dr. Stephen Jackson said, “Today we mark a milestone with an ambition to scale up and accelerate the opportunities that improve the economy and the lives of Kenyans. This is an exciting opportunity to innovate, co-create and expand opportunities that are targeted to create a world class public-private model that everyone can emulate around the world.”

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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