IFES Praises IEBC for Successful Management of Kenya's Elections

June 17th, 2013

The President and CEO of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Bill Sweeney, called the March 4 Kenyan elections, an “enormous achievement due to the leadership, courage and determination of the leadership of Kenya and international community all who worked together to produce a peaceful democratic result.”

His remarks came on June 12, during an IFES hosted panel discussion on Kenya's successful elections, that examined lessons learned in order to strengthen the management of future elections. Issack Hassan, Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Michael Yard, IFES' Chief of Party in Kenya participated in the discussion.

Chairman Hassan commented that voter education was very successful, reaching 86 percent of the 14.3 million registered voters, through advertisements, radio, television and community and faith-based organizations. He added that new technology, such as biometric voter registration and electronic voting also helped to increase the credibility of the elections. Hassan also noted the importance of security in the election, for which 98,000 police officers were trained to enforce electoral laws throughout the country.

Hassan ended his remarks by saying “many in Kenya believe that the IEBC did well despite the challenges and that we can improve more.”

Sweeney said, “For the Kenyan team, to have accomplished as much as they did measured against any other election administration body in the world would have been a great accomplishment. To have accomplished it in such a fragile period was remarkable… we believe you have done a terrific job”

To watch a video of the event click here.

Kenya Hosts Forum to Increase Accountability and Transparency in Government

June 3rd, 2013

Kenya hosted more than 16 African countries last week at forum in Mombasa to promote government transparency and information sharing with the public. The open government forum allowed delegates from governments, civil societies and NGOs to share their experiences in rolling out open data initiatives.

“We are proud to be hosting this forum that brings together top brains from different countries to help improve the standards of this initiative both as individual countries and as a region,” said Communications Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo.

Kenyan officials added that citizens play an important role in the effort to improve open governance.

“Citizens must be engaged in developing solutions for effective public sector delivery,” said Dr. Fred Matiangí, Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communication Technology (ICT). “We must use our own experiences and recent history to contribute to the discourse on open governance and knowledge society.”

Kenya is a member of the Open Government Partnership, an initiative which helps governments to become more transparent and increase access to information.

Read more about the event in the Daily Nation and All Africa.

Amb. Amina Mohamed Nominated to be Kenya's First Female Foreign Secretary

April 25th, 2013

On Tuesday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta nominated Ambassador Amina Mohamed as Kenya's next Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the first woman ever to be nominated to the position. Amb. Mohamed is a career diplomat and public servant with more than 26 years of professional experience.

Mohamed currently serves as the Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Amina began her career in public service as a legal advisor in Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and went on to serve as the Permanent Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Mohamed has also participated in global development efforts, working with international organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Millennium Project.

As Kenya's first female foreign secretary, Mohamed will lead President Kenyatta's foreign policy. Uhuru Kenyatta was inaugurated earlier this month.

To read the full story click here.