Facts: Dependable Ally

Kenya leads Africa in mobile government services

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  • Africa is the world's fastest-growing mobile market, and Kenya's government is leading the charge. A recent report shows that Kenya is the second most ready African nation “to embrace mobile government services.”
  • In keeping with its commitment to transparency and good governance, Kenya is leading the quest to deliver public information and services via cellular technology, such as offering agricultural advice to businesses and allowing citizens to pay utility bills remotely.
  • A robust E-government is only part of Kenya's broader effort to make its government more accessible. Earlier this year, Kenya launched its Open Data Project, a user-friendly database that includes national census data and government spending records, and even information of parliamentary proceedings.

Source: Associated Press
Source: Business Daily Africa

 

Kenya is utilizing Twitter to inform the public about its military operation in Somalia

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  • Kenyan Military Spokesman, Major Emmanuel Chirchir (@MajorEChirchir) has been updating the public with information about “Operation Linda Nchi” (Protect the Nation) using the hashtag #operationlindanchi.
  • Major Chirchir said that Twitter is a way to quickly and easily communicate the military’s message. He also asked his Twitter followers to pass the word on to those residents who do not possess the technology.
  • In early November, Kenya's military used Twitter to warn civilians about air raids near 10 Somali towns, affording them time to avoid danger.

Source: Huffington Post
Source: Mobiledia

Kenya's Transparency Ranking has improved for the second consecutive year.

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  • In its recently released annual index, Transparency International found that Kenya has improved governance and increased transparency – for the second consecutive year.
  • According to the report, Kenya improved more than three percentage points from its 2010 rating and more than 16 percentage points since 2009. Several institutions, including the Kenya Ports Authority, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, improved so much that they were removed from the Index altogether.
  • A participant in the Open Government Partnership, Kenya is also using technology to increase transparency by digitizing government records and the government's procurement process.

Source: Transparency International

Kenya is one of the founding countries to launch the Open Government Partnership.

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  • The Open Government Partnership, launched in September 2011 by 46 countries including the United States, Brazil and Kenya, is a multilateral initiative aimed at fighting corruption and increasing the transparency of governments around the world.
  • At the launch, Kenya announced it will officially release its open government plan at the partnership's next meeting in 2012. The plan is already publicly available.
  • Kenya is the first African nation to make its government data available online. The Kenya Open Data Project makes a wealth of information easily accessible to the public, including data on the national census, government expenditure and parliamentary proceedings.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Kenya Open Data Project

Kenya is helping developing countries gain access to clean energy.

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  • At the launch of the Paris-Nairobi Climate Initiative in April 2011, Prime Minister Odembo promised Kenya will assist other African countries in achieving the United Nations' goal of universal access to energy by 2030. The Initiative will facilitate interactions between government ministries, development partners and energy experts to expand access to clean energy throughout the world.
  • The Prime Minister told reporters at the Initiative's opening conference that the idea dates back to the December 2010 United Nations Convention on Climate Change. “France and Kenya saw the need to launch an initiative on access to clean energy in Africa and other countries vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
  • A secretariat for the Initiative will be set up in Nairobi and its head will be appointed soon, assured the Prime Minister, underscoring the Initiative's importance. “This is not just about talk, we want to ensure that the whole exercise is fast-tracked,” he said.

Source: Africa Review

Kenya has played a leading role helping to stabilize South Sudan

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  • The government of Kenya has pledged over $2 million to train civil servants in South Sudan following the January 9th referendum. Kenya has already trained thousands of teachers in the region.
  • The government of Kenya has set up eight polling stations to accommodate the more than 15,000 dispersed Sudanese living in Kenya.
  • The Kenyan government served as a mediator and guarantor of South Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended decades of war in Sudan in 2005 and paved the way for the 2011 referendum.

Source: The Standard

There are over 6,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kenya

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  • Approximately 5,500 NGOs are national organizations and the remainder are international NGOs.
  • Kenya has a National Council of NGOs that supervises and coordinates the affairs and functions of NGOs in Kenya.
  • Kenya's National Council of NGOs carried out civic education projects ahead of the August 4 Constitutional referendum to ensure its peaceful passage.

Source: National Council of NGOs

Kenya voted for a new Constitution on August 4th, 2010

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  • The new “Harmonized Constitution” will replace Kenya's original Constitution created at the time of independence in 1963.
  • For the first time in Kenyan history, Kenyans will now be allowed to hold dual citizenship.
  • The Constitution creates Kenya's first ever Supreme Court, establishes separation of powers, sets up a system of checks and balances and devolves power closer to the people.
  • Kenya will now have a Bill of Rights that ensures equality and freedom from discrimination, religious freedoms, a free press and the right to a fair and speedy trial.

Source: ReutersUniversity of Wisconsin Law SchoolDaily NationThe Standard

125 American companies have offices in Kenya

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  • Coca Cola, General Electric, and Google are among the many organizations that have their African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • These companies have brought in over $200 million in investment.

Source: Kenya AdvisorUniversity of Pennsylvania African Studies Department

U.S. President Barack Obama's father was a Kenyan

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  • President Obama's father started life in a rural village in western Kenya. After winning a college scholarship, he enrolled in the University of Hawaii, where he met and married President Obama's mother, Ann Dunham.
  • President Obama's father went back to Kenya where he worked in the oil industry and eventually became an economist in the government of Jomo Kenyatta, the first Kenyan President after independence.

Source: Kenya Advisor

Kenya is the global leader in prosecuting pirates

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  • The United States, Britain and the European Union have signed agreements allowing for piracy suspects to be tried in Kenya.
  • In 2006, Kenya established the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in the port city of Mombasa, designed to provide a rapid response to acts of piracy.

Source: The TimesLaw.comIMO

Kenya is the only developing country that hosts a United Nations agency

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  • The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) became the first UN agency to be headquartered in Kenya in 1970.
  • Kenya has 26 UN Agencies comprising a total of 75 semi-autonomous UN offices employing some 3,000 local and international staff – the third largest concentration after New York and Geneva.
  • These agencies include:
  1. World Bank (WB)
  2. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  3. United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  4. United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
  5. United Nations Funds for Women (UNIFEM)
  6. Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  7. World Health Organization (WHO)

Source: United Nations

Kenya is one of America's closest allies in the fight against Al-Qaeda

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  • Kenya shares a 423 mile border with Somalia and is on the frontline against the growth of Islamic terrorism in the region.
  • The Kenyan Army worked with the U.S. to develop a Ranger Strike Force, to prevent the infiltration of terrorist groups into Kenya.
  • The Kenyan Air Force has procured F-5 fighter aircrafts to conduct counterterrorism surveillance and strike operations.
  • The Kenyan Navy has received training and equipment from the United States for maritime interdiction operations in territorial waters.

Source: U.S. Department of State