As per the Kenyan culture, the handover ceremony started with a word of prayer by Rtd. Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala which was followed by the introduction of the APRM Continental Delegation as well as the newly appointed Panel of Eminent Persons for the Kenya County Peer Review Mechanism. Also present at the ceremony was Ambassador Samori Okwiya, CEO of NEPAD/APRM Kenya and Professor Michael Chege, the National Governance Council Chairperson.
Ambassador Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning who is also the APRM Focal Point, made a few remarks afterwhich, he invited Amb. Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, Lead Panelist in charge of Kenya to give her remarks and formally handover the report to HE. Uhuru Kenyatta.
In her statement, Amb. Lewanika started by thanking the President for the warm welcome at the State House and His leadership role in the revitalisation of APRM processes which made it possible for the mechanism to be accorded the Expanded Mandate from the African Union Assembly in January 2017. Additionally, Amb. Lewanika commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for the transformation of Kenya under the Big 4 Agenda of his presidency.
Linking the infrastructural projects to other sectors of the Big 4 agendas, Amb Lewanika acknowledged the government’s political will to ensure that the middle class and low income earners get access to affordable housing through the National Housing Development Fund and the Kenya Mortgage Finance Fund. In terms of access to healthcare, the Panelist acknowledged improvement in terms of health budget, but insisted on the need for the government to strive to meet the target of the Abuja declaration. Regarding Food Security and Nutrition, Amb. Lewanika reported an increase in the allocation of funds towards improving food security and nutrition for Kenyans, but also raised the challenges of low productivity and dependence on rain-fed production and changing climate. Lastly, the Panelist commended the government and the people of Kenya for their consensual effort to address cross-cutting issues related to Youth unemployment, Corruption, Gender inequality and Diversity Management through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
In his response, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta concurred with the findings of the APRM Targeted Review Field Mission. He stressed the importance of the APRM as a mechanism for peer learning among African countries and continuous improvement of governance. He thanked the APR Panel for acknowledging the significant progress which has been achieved in the various areas which were reviewed. President Kenyatta particularly praised his cabinet for bringing health services closer to the population in rural areas which paved the way for a large number of the population to access healthcare. He spoke of significant progress which his government has made in the area of manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security and nutrition while at the same time accepted the challenges that APRM targeted review highlighted.
The President also emphasised on the critical role of complementarity with neighbouring countries to address some of these challenges such as through increasing trade and export of agricultural products with countries that have a comparative advantage in the production of certain goods. President Kenyatta concluded his statement by expressing his readiness to be Peer-reviewed by his Peers during the Special Virtual Summit scheduled for the 28th of July 2022.
The ceremony ended with the handing over of the Targeted Review Report and a photo session at the entrance of the State House.