Kenya: State House Spokesperson's Weekly Briefing

press release

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, and good to see all of you in good spirits.

Let me start with the things about which you have enquired this week.

First, In the matter of the Chief Justice nominee, we can confirm that the name of Judge David Maraga was formally submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta in the past week, and the President has already transmitted it to the National Assembly. We expect the National Assembly to consider the nomination when it resumes its sittings in due course.

Second, There has been some concern expressed about IEBC matters. All that needs to be said is that we are within the timelines, and that the arrangements will be completed within the time stipulated by the relevant laws. There is no need for the strong words that have been heard in some quarters.

Now let me focus on a number of other important issues.

1. Youth Summit

This administration took office at a time when the youth agenda had never been more important. In recognition of its centrality, new policies were made and new programmes launched. We now have the Uwezo fund, and expanded opportunities for youth in government procurement.

Equally, the government has set aside an unprecedented amount of money for the training of our young people, while launching new programmes to digitise learning, and new partnerships with the private sector to bring new skills and opportunities to young Kenyans.

It is time, now, to take a step back; it is time to take stock of our successes, and to see what improvements are possible. That is what tomorrow's Youth Summit is about. It brings together government and Kenya's youth, as well as civil society and the private sector, so that we can all reflect on our progress, and then see how we can do more for Kenya's young people.

As always, the summit will be televised -- from 0730 on Monday -- and there will be opportunities to interact on social media, on radio, and on television.

We invite Kenyans to join the conversation, and to make their voices heard.

2. Creative Economy Conference

Two days ago, we completed a very successful conference on Kenya's creative industries. The event heralds a new relationship between government, and Kenya's artists, writers and creators.

A number of resolutions were reached.

First, it was agreed that this administration would oversee an unprecedented programme to professionalise the entire creative economy. That follows from the need to recognise the talents and the innovations that our creatives bring to the table.

We need to create a structure that allows those talents their full expression. The administration will make the necessary labour and tax arrangements for our artists, and it will also open opportunities for performance and exhibition of Kenyan creative work, while also arranging for commendations and other recognition of Kenyan cultural products, and those who make them.

That leads us to the second important point. Too often, our artists have not had the venues they needed to display and perform their work. This administration, together with the county governments, will set up a fund to reclaim theatres, social halls and other public infrastructure for the use of Kenya's creatives.

The third key resolution is that government will help in the creation of local creative content, and that it will firmly enforce existing guidelines regarding the broadcast of that content. The aim here is to give Kenyan creatives a fair chance to benefit from their creative work.

These are only some of the policy interventions to which we committed. But, in advance of the Youth Summit tomorrow, they show this administration's commitment to the energy, the innovation, and the creativity of Kenya's youth.

3. President Zuma's State Visit

In ten days or so, Kenya will have the honour of hosting His Excellency President Jacob Zuma of South Africa on this, the first State Visit to Kenya by a South African Head of State.

I don't need to tell you South Africa and Kenya are friends and partners, or that our relationship is built on a shared history of struggle, a shared commitment to democratic values, and a shared commitment to the flourishing of our continent.

Given the depth of our relationship and in terms of tradition around State Visits, you can be sure that President Zuma will receive an appropriate welcome, which will include a 21-gun salute and an honour guard by the defence forces.

Closer to the time, we will advise on arrangements pertaining to traffic and security. For now, let me briefly touch on the some of the matters that President Kenyatta and President Zuma will discuss.

Kenya and South Africa have strong commercial, cultural, and political ties. One of the points under discussion will be the free movement of peoples, which underlies all those ties. We expect to strike agreement on the matter of visas, which have sometimes posed a problem for Kenyans looking to travel to South Africa.

We will also consider tighter cooperation in security and counter-terrorism. Kenya and South Africa are leaders on the continent, and we have a responsibility to make certain that Africa is safe.

That means we must cooperate to prevent terrorism gaining a foothold anywhere on the continent, just as we must bring to an end the old conflicts that still trouble us. We will work together with South Africa to bring peace to South Sudan, to Burundi, and to a number of other troubled nations.

Finally, President Zuma will be accompanied by a strong contingent of leaders from South Africa's private sector.

The visit, then, offers us an opportunity to network, to learn from each other's expertise and experience, and to strengthen the commercial ties that bind our two nations.

In all, we look forward to a very productive visit, and President Kenyatta asks Kenyans to give President Zuma a warm and fitting welcome.

5. Conclusion

Let me close by mentioning two unfortunate losses. Earlier last week, journalist WaweruMburuand Madam Jacqueline WanzilaKakonzipassed away. Madam Kakonzi was the mother of olive Burrows, the Capital FM journalist that often reports events here at State House.

President Kenyatta sends his best wishes and prayers to both the families. May God bless them all, and may He grant the departed eternal rest.

Asanteni sana.

ManoahEsipisu, MBS

Secretary of Communication &

State House Spokesperson

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