The European Union (EU) has pledged to work with the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Government to ensure the realization of the Big Four Agenda but stressed that women must be included more to ensure the development plans are realized.
The president’s big four development agenda include affordable housing, universal healthcare, manufacturing and food security which he launched last year.
The union said it was impressed by the progress the country was making towards promoting development especially by ensuring there was zero insecurity and even extending the same to its neighboring countries but said more need to be done.
The EU Ambassador to Kenya Stefano Dejak lauded Kenya’s push for security in Somalia saying it was a productive move towards development despite the fact that Kenya’s troops to Somalia pay the very high price citing recent terrorist-related incidences.
Dejak termed the Al-Shabaab related attacks that have featured in the news recently as unfortunate yet a mark of sacrifice for the country that has also continued to offer shelter to victims of displacement.
On Sunday, about twelve Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers were killed and two others injured near Kenya-Somalia border when their vehicle stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED).
The attack came days after suspected Al-Shabaab militants killed four Kenyans in a quarry in Mandera County.
Speaking yesterday when he launched “She is We” campaign in Nairobi to sensitize the world about the need to involve women and girls in sustainable development, Dejak said the society was missing a lot by failing to invest in women and girls.
“It is for leaders to truly serve the society than pursue selfish interests…women make society better to the advantage of all of us. It is the duty of all to respect the sanctity of dignity of men and women regardless of their beliefs,” said Dejak.
To promote further development in the country, Dejak promised that the EU will continue to invest in the fight against anti-piracy and maritime security to ensure that international trade between Kenya and other countries were not affected.
“EU has been investing in anti-piracy and supported maritime operations in western Indian Ocean which has been affecting the free flow of merchandise into the western Indian Ocean while threatening business in Mombasa,” added Dejak.
The sentiments from the EU comes at the time that Kenya has not attained the two-third gender rule as espoused in the constitution.
Dejak was flanked by Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ababu Namwamba who welcomed the move by EU towards promoting development in the country.
“The EU remains one of the most important trade partners with Kenya. It is a destination of close to 30 percent of all our exports,” said Namwamba.