As a woman,be empowered as you seek votes from the electorate.Mary Wambui,MP,Othaya,Nyeri County

othaya

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Call for articles by Agricultures Network: Valuing underutilised crops

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As family farming, nutrition and agrobiodiversity are increasingly put in the spotlight, Farming Matters focuses its attention on ‘underutilised’ crops. These are plant species that have been used for centuries or even millennia as food, fibre, fodder, oil or medicine, but are no longer very common. Many of these crops are of great value for nutrition, climate resilience and risk diversification. The globalisation of food systems, however, has led to a situation where currently a mere fifteen crops provide 90% of the world’s food, with three crops – rice, maize and wheat – making up twothirds of this total (FAO).

Different factors have pushed the revaluation of underutilised species. In rural and urban communities India, there is a revival of minor millets as nutritious and climate resilient food. Andean chef cooks ‘rediscovered’ a diverse range of potatoes, beans, tubers, and traditionally used vegetables and grains which resulted in a gastronomic boom that created new markets for small scale farmers. In Africa, the unique properties of crops such as dawa dawa, teff and leafy vegetables receive increased attention through food fairs and celebrations. This calls for renewed attention to underutilised crops by mainstream policy, research and extension, especially as many countries struggle to address malnutrition. Farming Matters seeks cases where underutilised crops have gained renewed popularity.

IYP 2016 logoThe year 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Pulses, such as lentils, beans or chick peas are a critical component of a balanced and nutritious diet, and they are important sources of fodder and soil fertility. Therefore, in honour of the Year of Pulses we are especially interested in stories about the revival of pulses.

We are looking for stories that analyse how underutilised crops have been revalued. We seek examples of communities that continued growing and processing them contrary to dominant trends. What were the successful strategies and the challenges of family farmers and others to reviving the knowledge and the use of the underutilised crop? How did production, processing and preparation of food change? What role did markets, policy, research or local food and farmers’ movements play? What changes did this bring to rural and urban communities? What was the role of youth?

Articles for the June 2016 issue of Farming Matters should be sent to the editors before 1 April 2016.

To submit click on the link below:
http://extra.agriculturesnetwork.org/survey/index.php/516716/lang-en

 

Announcing the 2016 World Bank #Blog4Dev contest winners!

On 23rd January 2016,we advertised this contest organized by the World Bank
https://youthcountyprojectskenya.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/participate-in-world-bank-blog-contest-and-win-a-trip-to-washington-d-c-usa/

Hearty congratulations to the winners of the 2016 #Blog4Dev contest!

This year’s #Blog4Dev topic was about increasing opportunities for young people in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, and more than 1300 young people between the ages of 18-28 from those countries submitted blog posts with their ideas. Of those, five writers stood out:

In Kenya, Mercy Anyango Okoth and Mr. Jeremiah Kerongo Riro, from Uganda, Fiona Komusana and Mr. Stephen Katende, and from Rwanda, Dominique Uwase Alonga. These winners will join me, Yasser El Gammal and Christina Malmberg Calvo – country managers of Rwanda and Uganda respectively, at the 2016 Spring Meetings on April 12-17, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

To choose the winners, the blogs were reviewed by a number of World Bank staff who narrowed down an average of 10 finalists who were interviewed last month. They won in part because we were impressed by their blog posts, but also because they would bring an unusual perspective and passion to the trip.

Their winning blogs will be uploaded onto the World Bank Group blog site Nasikiliza starting this April. They will also be invited by their respective country offices for a conversation thereafter. In the meantime, here’s a little more about them:

Kenya

  • Mercy Anyango Okoth, 19, is a third year Student of Strathmore University who is passionate about finance. Read her blog | See her video
  • Jeremy Kerongo Riro, 25, is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate of University of Nairobi, and a business consultant supporting start-ups and growth stage businesses. Read his blog | See his video

Uganda

  • Fiona Komusana, 25, is a third year Law student at Mukono University, and an experienced blogger who writes about current affairs. Read her blog | See her video
  • Stephen Katende, 25, works in a rural Lwengo District, and is currently a fellow with ‘Building Tomorrow’s Youth,’ a program that creates incubation centers in various districts in Uganda. Read his blog | See his video

Rwanda

Congratulations also to the following Blog4Dev finalists:

Kenya: Susan Mungai; Hosea Chelugo, Samuel Karanja; Stephen Mwangi, and Kelvin Githinji
Uganda: Namugga K. Rutwama; Ronald Nyakahuma, and Namwiza Ritah
Rwanda: Christian Rubagenga, Joselyne K. Uwayo, Francis Mugume and Twagirayezu Asumani

For more info visit: http://blogs.worldbank.org/nasikiliza/announcing-the-2016-world-bank-blog4dev-contest-winners

Register to attend the 3rd Annual Develotion Conference in Meru County

TO REGISTER FOR THE 3RD ANNUAL DEVOLUTION CONFERENCE. CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

 

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Current education system as a whole requires urgent overhaul

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Kelvin Keya
Author:Kelvin Keya
Published by Youth Edition

Over the weekend I had an opportunity to represent my parents on a parent’s day at my sister’s school in the village. Besides all I decided to observe the behavior of parents with children, teachers with children, pupils verses pupil as well as teachers and parents…
To say the truth based on the observations, we have a real problem as a people or parents to bring up responsible young people.

I observed many things including, how parents fear discussing certain things as sex, discipline and finances with their children and with teachers. I witnessed greatest levels of sycophancy of teachers to parents and vice versa where parents and pupils were afraid to voice the true issues facing pupils and teachers. I also experienced the enormous gaps continuing to exist in the relationship of children to parents, to teachers and among the teachers.

I sadly saw the much emphasis plus concentration on academic performance as opposed to an all round performance, learning and knowledge understanding. I saw the continuous denial of change of the way things are changing , denial of technology and its effects to children at home and school. Denial of teachers poor attitude and lack of emotional balance as a major hindrance to proper learning in school.  Fear of asking right questions and continuous blame games from teachers to students to parents with less creative or new ideas to promote education and not schooling. Most discussion revolved around mean scores and the kind of schools pupils are expected to go to post primary exams.

Upon sharing my few thoughts to this gathering, of course in support of and seeking inclusion of updates from co-curricular activities, asking teachers to be evaluated by pupils, asking to have unique awards opportunity to inspire creativity and performance, to engage with students and involve them in decision making processes and lastly allow room for special guest to speak to the pupils as counselors or inspiration speakers. I appeared unpopular and uninformed to many as I spoke, the good thing is I honestly shared my mind for the best interest of Kenyan youth, history will tell.
Our current teachers and parents should be the first source of hope for a better and responsible youth generation.  This is sadly the case as parents are not friends of their children and teachers too being human are not doing their part. My thinking tells me that there is need for serious investment in curriculum reviews, capacity building and exposure training to all teachers, put clear evaluation options of teachers, parents and children, introduce and reintroduce entrepreneurship, agricultural, art and music subjects, focus most hours of teaching to practical and experiential learning and use of internet including video, audio training and guest speaker series for learners.

I  propose more evaluation levels say at class four then class eight or class four, class six then eight all to be averaged to get the real evaluation for our children. I urge parents to also play our part not to baby our children but to bring them up with values, discipline, respect and fear of God.

On a more serious note the government reforms in education should consider to revise up the remuneration of teachers to be motivated to serve diligently and also to employ more teachers in schools to promote quality education.
 
Kelvin Keya ,
The writer is a youth consultant, coach and trainer at Alladin Concepts Ltd –Nairobi

The youth must take charge of their future as no one will hand them jobs

Author: Kelvin Keya
Published by Daily Nation

Unemployment is one of the main challenges affecting the youth today.

Employment opportunities are few. They do not come to us while we sit in our rooms or in our parents’ living rooms, idle and playing computer games; they come through the little things we may involve ourselves in doing.Through volunteering and participating in community service, we get great opportunities for employment.

Both have benefits that may open doors since we are able to create contacts and network with people, including potential employers. It is also through volunteering that we are able to get the required job experience.

It is during our youthful years that we are most agile and productive in our lives. When we spend most of that time seeking employment, we may be tempted to be resigned to giving our productivity to activities that do not benefit us.

If the youth would use their productivity to their own benefit, then cases of unemployment among young people would be minimal.

The decisions we make in our youthful years are crucial in our lives. The youth should be able to make the right decisions, to invest their worthiness in nation-building rather than wasting it on drugs and bad choices.

The youth have a responsibility to change their status and the conditions they live in and that will only be possible if they change their way of thinking.

We hold the key to the solutions to our challenges. What we do as young people counts. Let us not just sit back and wait for employment opportunities to come to us.

 

Kenya has great potential to achieve sustainable economic empowerment through the devolved system of government.

There is much to be achieved if the communities and more youth are empowered and educated to participate in devolution.

Statistics indicate that youth make up over 60 per cent of Kenya’s population. This means that the youth should have a say in the priorities and planning of the country.

Young people must desist from blaming others for their problems and living hopeless lives, and instead follow up on county programmes and participate in the crafting of laws and policies meant to foster development.

County governments must build the capacity of youth to do business with them.

If empowered, young people can channel their energy, knowledge, and time into entrepreneurship, agriculture, technology, security, and peace and reconciliation

What can President Uhuru Kenyatta learn from Former Prime Minister of Singapore regarding fighting Corruption

By Corruption.net

Lee Kuan Yew is no more. He will be remembered by many for many reasons. Today corruption.net is looking at why he will be remembered for his relentless fight against ant-corruption.

In October 1951, a large shipment of opium was hijacked by thieves from the port town of Punggol, in north-east Singapore. British authorities investigated and found that the thieves included several high ranking officers of the Singapore Police Force. In the aftermath of the scandal, the British colonial government set up the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in 1952 and sited in the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Lee Kuan Yew was familiar with the corrupt practices prevailing in the then government. He was convinced that corruption would deter economic progress in the country. He decided to start with a clean slate. In the 1959 election, the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) campaigned against the Government’s corrupt practices. This resonated well with the voters. After the elections his team turned up in all-white as a promise to the people that their leaders will not stand for corruption and will be “whiter than white”. This tradition continues till today in PAP.

After assuming office as first Prime Minister LKY moved CPIB to the Prime Minister’s Office.PM Lee adopted a carrot and stick approach to combat corruption.

In the 1980s Lee enacted salary raises for senior level government officials and politicians. This was a pragmatic way of keeping the high level corruption at bay. This was enhanced repeatedly in 1973, 1979, 1982, 1989 and 1994 to bring the salaries on par with the well paid private sector. He was severely criticised by the public and media. It was said that his pay was higher than that of the US President and senior members of the civil service earned more than four times of what their US Federal counterparts earned. He took it on the stride and implemented his policies and had the last laugh. Today the average per capita GDP (PPP) of Singapore is much higher than that of the US and is third highest in the world.

Probably he was also the most criticised politician in Singapore.  Eventually he was proven right and only then people appreciated his wisdom.

Graham Allison in his book entitled “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World (Belfer Center Studies in International Security)” writes: “When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen.”

Transparency International ranked Singapore in 2010 in the first place in tie with Denmark and New Zealand. In 2014 Singapore slipped to the 7th position. This probably was due to the high profile cases of Peter Lim Sin Pang( 1) and Ng Boon Gay(2) and Tey Tsun Hung(3).

“He tackled corruption relentlessly and held public servants to the highest standards”, said World Bank Group CEO Jim Yong Kim.

In 1984 the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) was created as a unit of the Singapore Police to deal with white collar crimes.  Glenn Knight, a prosecutor par excellence, was appointed as its first Director. He lost his post in 1991 after being convicted of corruption in a much-publicized trial. In 1998, he was again tried and convicted for misappropriating money while in office.

Khoo Hin Hiong was a magistrate who was charged for corruption by aiding and abetting businessman Cho Jock Kim to commit criminal breach of trust of $ 218,495 and $ 30,000 belonging to International Holdings. He was prosecuted by Glenn Night and was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

Collapse of Pan-Electric Industries was one of the biggest corporate failures which forced Singapore and Malaysian stock exchanges to close for 3 days. The company owed money to 30 banks and more than 5000 shareholders were left high and dry with worthless share certificates after the company was declared bankrupt. Peter Tham, Tan Kok Liang, and Tan Koon Swan, who were the major shareholders, were prosecuted by Glenn Knight and were sentenced to jail.

.Knight also led the prosecution team in Singapore’s first case of insider trading, that of former United Overseas Bank banker Allan Ng.
In March 1991, Knight himself came under investigations. He was charged with corruption on 28 May 1991. Knight pleaded guilty to cheating then managing director of Trans-Island Bus Services Ng Ser Miang to invest in the Batam Island Country Club on the Indonesian island of Batam, which had been planned by Knight and his wife. He was imposed a fine of $17,000  and a day in prison.

In 1998, Knight was again charged in court for misappropriating money totaling $4,200 when he was still the CAD’s Director. He was sentenced to a fine of $10,000 another day in jail..

LKY said in a speech,” Wee Toon Boon was minister of state in the Singapore ministry of the environment in 1975 when he took a free trip to Indonesia for himself and his family members, paid for by a housing developer. He also accepted a bungalow worth S$500,000 from this developer. He had been a loyal non-communist trade union leader and my staunch supporter from the 1950s. It was painful to have him charged, convicted and sentenced to four years and six months in jail.”

Teh Cheang Wan was the Minister for National Development from 1 February 1979 to 14 December 1986. Teh was investigated for corruption by the CPIB Bureau for accepting two bribes of $500,000 each in 1981 and 1982.  Lee Kuan Yew, approved an open investigation on his alleged corruption in November 1986. Teh committed suicide on 4 December 1986, before being charged for the offences.

Many legal reforms were made to assist in identifying, prosecuting and convicting corrupt persons.

In a speech LKY said “We also amended the law to put the burden of proof on the defendant or accused if he/she had more assets than his income as reported in his income tax returns, from his employment or business could have given him. He has to disprove the presumption of guilt that they were gained by corrupt means.”

The Director of the CPIB reported directly to the elected Prime Minister. If the elected Prime Minister refused to move then he could go the elected President who can act independently of the elected Prime Minister. The president also has the veto on appointments to important positions like the Chief Justice, Chief of Defence Force, Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General, Auditor General and other key positions that uphold the integrity of the institutions of government.

In 1985 a rumor went around that LKY and the then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had gained an unfair advantage by getting a discount on their purchase of flats from a developer on whose board was LKY’s brother a non-executive director. Prime Minister Goh Chock Tong ordered an investigation. Monetory Authority of Singapore investigated and reported to the Prime Minister that there was no impropriety. The developer had given to 5–10 per cent to his buyers at a soft launch to test the market.

LKY asked the prime minister to take the matter to Parliament. In the debate, opposition MPs, including two lawyers, one a leader of the opposition, said that such discounts were standard marketing practice and was not improper.
LKY said, “This open debate made it a non-issue in the general elections a year later. Leaders must be prepared for such scrutiny to keep the system clean.”

LKY’s tenet was to air all the problems in the public and discuss and find a solution.
Now, CPIB is managed by a few dozen officials and using just 7% of the funds allocated the prime minister’s office. It cleared two thirds of its investigations within 30 days, 94% within 60 days and 98% within 90 days. The prosecution rates for highly pursuable cases have gone up to more than 90%.
After Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew was laid to rest on Sunday, business leaders in Singapore wanted his legacy to be carried on relentlessly. They said that the nation in part has become victim of its own success – with rising affluence, people have mellowed and allowed themselves and the younger generation to become soft. This is not good. You have to be tough to survive in this world, they said.

LKY was not the first prime minister to be clean. There were many before him. There were many during his time. There are many after him. According to Transparency International there are 6 countries ahead of Singapore and cleaner than Singapore. Yet he stands out as a champion of anti-corruption because he transformed Singapore from very corrupt state to one of the cleanest in the world. He said that during his early days of his political carrier he carried a sharp hatchet in his red brief case. Such was the condition of Singapore when he inherited it. He stands out for leaving an enduring legacy.

The broader question is will the legacy left by LKY will continue. My personal conviction is that it will continue. For how long will it continue? It may be, for another 50 or 100 years. Whenever I mention this to my friends, I was confronted with the question “like Aljunied?”. Here the word Aljunied refers to  Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) which is headed by the opposition Workers’ Party. Auditor-General’s Office reported some lapses in the governance and compliance of the town council.

Opposition Party chief Low Thia Khiang spoke publicly about the Auditor-General’s Office’s report for the first time in Parliament on Feb. 12, 2015. He said that his party takes seriously the findings of lapses in governance and compliance and supports the government’s move to strengthen the oversight of town councils.
This shows that he is willing to be transparent and be subjected to inquiry and fact finding.

I still strongly believe that LKY has laid out a track which will be difficult for any future government, be it the ruling party or an opposition party, to swerve from. He once said that he would rise from his grave if someone abused javascript:void(0)the funds that belonged to the country. One day, within the next 100 years,  his worst fear may come true. This may happen during the power of the ruling party or the opposition. If that happens, that will be due to some dire circumstances in the country and not to line the pockets of any individuals. After seeing this  Mr Lee will go back to his grave peacefully. I do not believe any individual, however avaricious he is, will try to benefit from this national wealth.

 

Alas!Start Anti-Corruption Clubs for the youth in your county.Find out what Botswana did

Botswana has succeeded in tackling corruption.However,in Kenya corruption is so rampant.Question is,what can you do as youth to reverse this trend in your county.Read about what Botswana did to tackle it.

“Anti-Corruption Clubs for the youth: The clubs run in both junior and senior secondary schools. Their main objectives are for the youth to disseminate anti-corruption information to their peers, to participate meaningfully in social and economic activities and to improve the youth understanding of ethics. The activities of the clubs culminate in an annual congress at the end of the year at which clubs share experiences with a view to assisting each other to run the clubs effectively

The youth also participate in essay writing and debates at which activities they interact with others and also share their views on their understanding of issues of corruption and how they can meaningfully contribute in the fight against the scourge. 

Corruption concept has also been infused in the school curriculum to be examinable in our formal education system. This is a breakthrough in the campaign against corruption for the youth of Botswana. ”

Read more on:
http://www.gov.bw/en/Business/Topics/Fighting-Corruption-and-Money-Laundering/Methods-of-Fighting-Corruption/

 

How to … fight government corruption

Neil Fowler
Published by The Guardian

Research reveals the four traits shared by successful anti-corruption organisations from Indonesia to Ghana.

EAST TIMOR DEATH
Indonesian riot police amid anti-corruption riots. Photograph: David Longstreath/AP

It is easy to forget that governments in developing and middle-income countries are often at the forefront of the fight against corruption. Their struggles to design, implement, and defend anti-corruption institutions in the face of daunting challenges hold valuable lessons for global efforts to ensure transparency and honesty in public expenditure.

The Innovations for Successful Societies (ISS) programme at Princeton University examined anti-corruption agencies in eight countries: Botswana, Croatia, Ghana, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, and Slovenia. Researchers interviewed more than 150 people at all levels inside the agencies as well as outside experts, in order to identify not only the achievements and shortcomings of these agencies but more importantly how they overcame obstacles.

To understand how successful anti-corruption agencies survive and succeed, we explored the ways they fend off the ‘spoilers’ who seek to undermine or destroy them. ISS researchers found that successful anti-corruption agencies followed several common paths in order to overcome spoilers and build strength and credibility.

Build strength from within

Strong internal controls and accountability mechanisms enable anti-corruption agencies to carry out their missions and avoid internal abuses that can damage their credibility. Useful procedures include those that focus on recruitment, training, and active management of staff integrity, as well as ensuring the highest ethical standards by agency leadership.

Although Indonesia’s corruption eradication commission did not announce its first case for over a year after its inception, it spent that time recruiting staff through open competition, establishing ethical codes, training investigators and developing comprehensive internal procedures. This deliberate approach avoided the sort of internal corruption scandal that blighted Latvia’s corruption prevention and combating bureau, where two staffers were discovered to have stolen seized assets valued at about $300,000 (£177,420).

Cultivate influential alliances

External support is critical for anti-corruption agencies to outflank powerful opponents. Fostering effective alliances with different groups requires both creativity and diligence. Croatia’s bureau for combating corruption and organised crime sought to gain media support by training its prosecutors in media relations, breaking down their reluctance to talk to the media while giving them the skills to do so. Ghana’s commission on human rights and administrative justice helped to build its own base of support by encouraging the formation of local civil society organisations, with the agency’s director personally organising a local chapter of Transparency International. Other potential allies include complementary state institutions, such as the judiciary or agencies responsible for information and communications, or international actors, such as UN bodies or bilateral donor organisations. Ultimately, however, citizens themselves can serve as an anti-corruption agency’s most tenacious defenders.

Create norms that support the mission

Awareness and education are seen most often as tools to directly tackle corruption, but successful efforts to change norms or behaviour in government and society also can bolster anti-corruption agencies. An added advantage is that preventive reforms generate little pushback from opponents of anti-corruption agencies.

Mauritius’s independent commission against corruption (Icac), Botswana’s directorate on corruption and economic crime, and Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission all made significant efforts to buttress the integrity of public institutions. For example, Mauritius’s Icac coached public institutions through the development of integrity plans, based on best practices. Botswana and Indonesia went a step further by engaging with youth groups and students to build awareness of corruption in the wider population.

Choose targets carefully

Some agencies have the tools and support to take on high-profile cases, involving high-level officials and prominent interest groups. Other agencies, especially newer ones, often have less credibility, capacity, and political clout. Either way, leaders of anti-corruption agencies must weigh the pros and cons of prosecuting each case with extreme care, because unexpected backlash and retaliation can hobble or destroy their organisations.

Latvia’s anti-corruption bureau found that its high-visibility approach against oligarchs generated public support in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, although this was partly driven by austerity measures put in place during the time. By contrast, when Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service investigated politicians in the run-up to elections in 2004, it did not have the media and public support it needed to overcome the pushback it faced. The service’s director resigned, and the agency turned to a low-visibility approach that emphasised education and the simplification of bureaucratic processes in broader government.

Of course, these approaches do not guarantee a corruption-free country and are just one facet of a comprehensive strategy to increase overall transparency and accountability. However, they do provide valuable guidance for reformers around the world who hope to make inroads against endemic corruption in their countries and in their own institutions.

This article is an abridged version of a paper written by Gabriel Kuris. Neil Fowleris is associate director of Innovations for Successful Societies at the University of Princeton. Follow @PrincetonISS on Twitter

Read more on: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/may/13/anti-corrutpion-agencies-transparency-tactics

Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Stephanie Hanson

Introduction

Africa is widely considered among the world’s most corrupt places, a factor seen as contributing to the stunted development and impoverishment of many African states. Of the ten countries considered most corrupt in the world, six are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Transparency International, a leading global watchdog on corruption. A 2002 African Union study estimated that corruption cost the continent roughly $150 billion a year. To compare, developed countries gave $22.5 billion in aid to sub-Saharan Africa in 2008, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Some economists argue that African governments need to fight corruption instead of relying on foreign aid. But anti-corruption efforts on the continent have shown mixed results in recent years, and analysts fear that major international partners are unwilling to exert leverage over African governments. An initiative for transparency in the extractive industries shows promise, but is mostly untested. Some experts suggest African interest in attracting foreign investment will serve to spur more substantive efforts to fight corruption.

African Efforts to Fight Corruption

Corruption in Africa ranges from high-level political graft on the scale of millions of dollars to low-level bribes to police officers or customs officials. While political graft imposes the largest direct financial cost on a country, petty bribes have a corrosive effect on basic institutions and undermine public trust in the government. Over half of East Africans polled paid bribes to access public services that should have been freely available, according to the 2009 East African Bribery Index, compiled by Transparency International. Graft also increases the cost of doing business. Academic research shows that a one-point improvement in a country’s Transparency International corruption score is correlated with a productivity increase equal to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). “If you attack corruption, it’s the best way to attack poverty,” Nuhu Ribadu, the former head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission, told BusinessWeek in June 2009. Unaddressed, endemic corruption can also foster unrest. The insurgency in the Niger Delta is fueled by claims that communities in the area do not see tangible benefits from oil extraction on their land; much of the oil revenue meant for the Delta’s citizens is siphoned off by government officials.

Experts say many public officials in Africa seek reelection because holding office gives them access to the state’s coffers, as well as immunity from prosecution.

The prevalence of corruption also warps the political process. Experts say many public officials in Africa seek reelection because holding office gives them access to the state’s coffers, as well as immunity from prosecution. When the stakes for remaining in office are so high, candidates are more likely to buy votes or rig an election, as happened in Nigeria’s 2007 elections. These “are more reliable and less difficult ways of winning an election than trying to gain voter approval by being a good government,” writes economist Paul Collier.

In the past ten years, African governments have made some efforts to fight corruption. In many cases, they have been spurred by international donors pushing for transparency and good governance as well as domestic pressure to fulfill promises of reform made on the campaign trail. Experts say countries such as Liberia, Rwanda, and Tanzania have made substantive progress on reducing corruption. U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted Ghana’s strong governance record during his visit in July 2009. But many countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, have made meager progress on fighting graft. All three countries have established anti-corruption agencies that sought to prevent, investigate, and prosecute corruption. But a 2008 paper from the UN Economic Commission for Africa says such commissions have been largely inefficient and ineffective due to their uncertain political footing. Often funded and overseen by the executive branch, anti-corruption agencies can be eliminated (as in South Africa, where the Scorpions investigating unit was disbanded in 2009), and their leaders can be sidelined or forced out of the country (as in Nigeria and Kenya).

Kenya as Case Study

The experience of Kenya demonstrates how corruption can tip a seemingly stable country into political crisis.
Read more by clicking on this link:
http://www.cfr.org/africa-sub-saharan/corruption-sub-saharan-africa/p19984

Fighting corruption has to start by changing our attitude towards it as youth#SayNOtoCorruption#

“There is no compromise when it comes to corruption. You have to fight it.”
A. K. Antony

“Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.”
Karl Kraus

“We’ve seen over time that countries that have the best economic growth are those that have good governance, and good governance comes from freedom of communication. It comes from ending corruption. It comes from a populace that can go online and say, ‘This politician is corrupt, this administrator, or this public official is corrupt.”
Ramez Naam

“Corruption has reached an unacceptable level. It devours resources that could be devoted to the citizens. It impedes the proper carrying out of market rules and penalizes the honest and capable. ”
Sergio Mattarella

“Unfortunately, corruption is widespread in government agencies and public enterprises. Our political system promotes nepotism and wasting money. This has undermined our legal system and confidence in the functioning of the state. One of the consequences is that many citizens don’t pay their taxes.”
George Papandreou

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

“Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.”
Atifete Jahjaga

“Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It’s self-defense. It’s patriotism.”
Joe Biden

“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.”
Kurt Cobain
“What saddens me is the corruption of youth and beauty, and the loss of soul, which is only replaced by money.”
Lisa Bonet
“The kind of corruption the media talk about, the kind the Supreme Court was concerned about, involves the putative sale of votes in exchange for campaign contributions.”
James L. Buckley
“The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.”
Georges Bernanos

“Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.”
Pratibha Patil
“The government is so out of control. It is so bloated and infested with fraud and deceit and corruption and abuse of power.”
Ted Nugent

ICT authority calling for 400 graduates in talent programme

GOVERNMENT through the ICT Authority has embarked on recruiting 400 ICT graduate trainees for the Presidential Digital Talent Programme as part of the government’s commitment to leverage ICT to enhance citizen service delivery.

This is the second intake after last year’s inaugural intake of 100 ICT interns who were trained and placed in private and public sector organisations.

The good news is that a number of them have clinched employment opportunities ahead of the graduation, which will be announced.

The programme goal is to train 400 interns every year, from 2016 using a mix of intense specialised training and work place attachments leading to the award of certificates after completion.

The programme is a private sector and government collaborative initiative to train ICT graduates to improve ICT management and enhance service delivery to mwananchi.

All applications will be done online at www.digitalent.go.ke. The application process will run for 14 days starting Sunday, February 28, 2016. The deadline for application is 14th March 2016.

For further enquiries, one can get in touch with Phyllis Nyambura on pnyambura@ict.go.ke

For more information, visit http://www.digitalent.go.ke/

YALI Leadership Center East Africa (Cohort 8&9) Leadership 2016

YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa (Cohort 8 & 9) Leadership Program 2016, Nairobi Kenya (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline: March 21st 2016 http://goo.gl/erult7

The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is looking for young men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 from Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, DRC, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda who are ready to embrace leadership and work hard to transform their countries.

Eligibility:

Competition for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is merit-based and open to young East African leaders who meet the following criteria:

Are 18 to 35 years of age at the time of application submission,
Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Burundi, Central African Republic. Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda,
Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
Are eligible to receive any necessary visa to Kenya, and
Are proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking English.

Benefits:

The participants immerse themselves in a 12-week course of study, three weeks of residential learning on-site at the Center in Nairobi;
Eight weeks of virtual distance learning via technology from their home countries; and a final week on-site at the Center in Nairobi for wrap-up and presentations.
The Center benefits the participants by linking them to a network of other young leaders from East Africa empowering them by enhancing their skills and confidence to lead; providing guidance from some of the best business and leadership minds in Africa; and opportunities for internships, among other benefits.
Courtesy of Opportunities for Africans

Massive Internship Opportunities in the Government of Kenya – KNCHR

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is an independent National Human Rights Institution created by Article 59 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and established by the Government of Kenya through an Act of Parliament (the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act, 2011) and under the United Nations Paris Principles.

KNCHR’s mandate includes furthering the protection and promotion of human rights in Kenya, acting as a watchdog over the Government in the area of human rights, and the provision of leadership in moving the country towards a human rights state.

KNCHR fulfills its human rights mandate through a number of programs, including Research and Compliance, Public Education and Training, Complaints and Investigations, Redress, Reforms and Accountability and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and departments: Human Resource and Administration, Finance, ICT, Public Affairs and Communication, Monitoring and Evaluation and Procurement.

The Commission’s main office is in Nairobi and with four regional offices in Wajir, Kitale, Mombasa and Kisumu.
The KNCHR invites applications from young, versatile, industrious, honest, self-driven, analytical, open-minded, readily available candidates to urgently fill the intern positions in various departments:-

  • Human Resource and Administration (1),
  • Finance (1),
  • Research and Compliance (1),
  • Reforms and Accountability (1)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (1),
  • Public Affairs and Communication
  • Public Affairs and Communication (1),
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1),
  • Complaints and Investigations (1),
  • ICT (1),
  • Internal Audit (1) and
  • Procurement (1)

    Position: Interns for various programmes
    Duration: 12 months
    Duty Station: Nairobi.

    Key Duties

    • To work closely with programme heads/Departmental heads and staff in order to learn from the work of the Commission in various departments
    • Assist in programme/Workplan implementation and assist in running and maintaining various programmes in KNCHR,
    • Any other task that may be assigned by the Programme Officers.

    Key Qualifications and Competencies

    • Holder of an undergraduate degree in a relevant field (as per departments above) from a recognized institution
    • Excellent IT skills, with working knowledge of the various packages.
    • Must be able to work effectively and independently with minimum supervision.
    • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills.
    • Proven research, writing and communication capability
    • Demonstrable commitment to social justice.
    • Fluency in spoken and written English and Swahili.

    If you possess the above qualities, please send your application clearly indicating the specific department on the subject matter of your cover letter, together with a detailed C.V, names and telephone contacts of three referees, to reach us by 16th of March, 2016 to:

    The Commission Secretary,
    Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
    Lenana Road, CVS Plaza, 1st Floor
    P. O. Box 74359-00200
    Nairobi
    Email: recruitments@knchr.org

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

Empowering Women, Tackling Income Inequality-Published by IMF

By Sonali Jain-Chandra, Kalpana Kochhar, and Monique Newiak

Despite progress, wide gaps between women and men’s economic empowerment and opportunity remain, which policymakers need to tackle urgently. In most countries, more men than women work, and they get paid more for similar work. Also, there are considerable gender gaps in access to education, health and finance in a number of countries. There is mounting evidence that the lack of gender equity imposes large economic costs as it hampers productivity and weighs on growth.

Our new study analyzes the links between these two phenomena—inequality of income and that of gender.  We find that gender inequality is strongly associated with income inequality across time and countries of all income groups.

Gender and income inequality are linked

There are at least three reasons why higher gender inequality is associated with higher income inequality:

  • First, gender wage gaps directly contribute to income inequality, and higher gaps in labor force participation rates between men and women result in inequality of earnings between sexes, thus creating and exacerbating income inequality.SDN.Gender&Income.chart1
  • Second, women are more likely to work in the informal sector, in which earnings are lower, which widens the gender earnings gap and exacerbates income inequality.
  • Finally, inequality of opportunities, such as unequal access to education, health services, and finance are prevalent between men and women, and are strongly associated with income inequality. SDN.Gender&Income.chart2

 The evidence

Our study finds that gender inequality is strongly associated with income inequality across time and countries of all income groups, even after controlling for the standard drivers of income inequality, which include financial openness and deepening, technological progress and labor market institutions. We study the association between the two phenomena for almost 140 countries over the last two decades. Our study extends the United Nation’s Gender Inequality Index, which captures both gender inequality in outcomes (labor force participation gap and share of female seats in parliament) as well as gender inequality in opportunity (education gaps, maternal mortality, and adolescent fertility).

Our main finding is that an increase in this multi-dimensional index from zero (perfect gender equality) to one (perfect gender inequality) is associated with an increase in net income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient) of almost 10 points.

While these results hold for countries across all levels of development, the relevant dimensions of gender inequality vary. For advanced countries—with largely closed gender gaps in education and more equal economic opportunities across sexes—income inequality arises mainly through gender gaps in labor force participation. In emerging markets and low-income countries, inequality of opportunity, in particular in gender gaps in education and health, appears to pose an obstacle to a more equal income distribution. 

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The evidence suggests that greater gender equity and increasing female economic participation are associated with higher growth, more favorable development outcomes, and lower income inequality. Given these strong associations, aspiring to equality of opportunities and removing legal and other obstacles that prevent women from reaching their full economic participation becomes an issue of macroeconomic relevance, on top of the strong human rights argument: A more level playing field would give women the option to become economically active should they so choose.  This in turn would have beneficial macroeconomic effects. 

Policy makers should take multi-pronged approach 

A significant decrease in gender gaps will require work along many dimensions.  The policy recommendations have been discussed in previous IMF work on gender and include:

  • Remove gender-based legal restrictions. Gender-related legal restrictions are prevalent in a number of countries and include legal impediments to women undertaking economic activities. Previous work has found that equalizing laws boosts female labor force participation. Specifically, granting gender equity under the constitution could increase the female labor force participation by as much as 5 percent.
  • Revise tax policies. Fiscal disincentives for secondary earners can limit female participation, and are viewed as an important barrier in Germany. Replacing family-based taxation with taxation of individual incomes would eliminate disincentives for secondary earners, who are frequently women. This could encourage more women to join the labor force.
  • Create fiscal space for priority expenditures such as on infrastructure and education. In developing economies, better infrastructure in rural areas—for example, more access to water and improved transportation systems—can reduce the time women spend on domestic tasks and enable them to seek work outside the home. Evidence from India suggests that female labor force participation in India would rise by 2 percentage points with an increase in spending on education of 1 percent of GDP.
  • Implement well-designed family benefits. Better access to parental leave and high quality, affordable childcare will make it easier for women to seek employment. In order to boost female force participation in Japan, a number of measures have been put in place including expanding childcare leave benefits from 50 percent to 67 percent of salary and boosting childcare services by around ½ million children by April 2015.

Redistribution is complementary to these gender-based policies

Nothing can substitute for gender-specific policies geared to reducing gender and income inequality. Previous IMF work has shown that redistribution generally has a benign effect on growth, while lowering lower income inequality. However, in order to combat deeper inequality of opportunities, such as unequal access to the labor force, health, education and financial access between men and women, policy markers should focus on more targeted policy interventions

Kakamega County Youths to Benefit from Hatchery and Processing Plant

By Denshi Shisia
Youth County Projects Kenya Coordinator of Kakamega County

With the Advent of Fish Farming in Kakamega County, The World Bank through the Western Kenya Community Driven Development Flood Mitigation Program (WKCDD/FMP) invested Ksh. 5.5 Million in a Fish Hatchery within the County to enable farmers easily access knowledge and skills in fish farming, fingerlings and fish feeds.

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In 2011, the government earmarked Ksh. 70 million for setting up a small fish processing plant in Kakamega County. Fish farming in the area had improved with over 2, 000 fish ponds having been established in the County by individual farmers in addition to the 2,700 that were dug by the government under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
The Project whose construction was started in November 2015 will see the communities within the County, especially those from Khwisero Constituency in which it is situated benefit immensely on the services that will be offered.

Youths from the County can now venture into fish farming – an opportunity that does not require huge amounts of capital to start. These can be approached individually or in a group to cut on costs. According to research, Khwisero Constituency soil and water is ideal for Tilapia rearing and therefore, the Khwisero Sub-County Fisheries Officer urged the residents to consider rearing Tilapia in their ponds.

To venture into fish farming under this program, one needs at least Ksh. 25,000 that is needed to dig one pond measuring 10M2. However, this cost can be considerably reduced if the youths from within the region formed groups in which they can use to help each other dig the ponds on rotational basis.

When the Fish Hatchery becomes functional, it is projected to serve all fish farmers within Kakamega County and stretch to neighboring counties.

With a hatchery and a processing plant within the County, Kakamega County Youths now have a good opportunity to venture into fish farming and reduce their overdependence on maize farming – an agricultural process that has seen the soil within the county become depleted on important minerals.

Mentorship Program organized by Beyond Colours in Nairobi County

As we celebrate International Women’s Day it was a pleasure to attend a mentorship program offered by Girl Confidence.The founder of Youth County Projects Kenya Violet Mbiti participated as a mentor.Kim-Fay East Africa sponsored the February Edition of Girl Confidence event which was held at the One Stop Youth Centre in Nairobi.

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Girls Confidence hereafter referred to as GC is a program of Beyond Colors founded by Tuzo Daisy Takoya. GC delivers life-changing programs that inspire girls to be confident.

 

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Their aim is to offer a comprehensive approach to development of girls to uncover their potential.GC programs are delivered in schools and communities by professionals who equip girls with life skills and help girls uncover their potential.

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GC works with community partners, mentors, and volunteer networks who support girls in all aspects of their development – breaking the cycles of poverty and low self-esteem.

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Their program aims to develop girls into confident women through sharing of life experiences and exposure to a broader world of opportunities.
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GC encourages all girls to be successful by building character, increasing academic skills, encouraging self-respect, building self-esteem, influencing positive decision making, developing social skills, and gaining leadership skills while serving the community in which they live.
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Girl Confidence seeks to build positive young ladies by creating a positive environment for educational, developmental, and social growth.

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The participants were each given Give Aways by the sponsors of the event

 

Say No to Gender Based Violence

“He hit me with everything and anything he could lay his hands on. Mark you, I was an invalid when all this happened. I had just been discharged from hospital where I had had a near death experience. The neighbors heard the commotion and came to my rescue. That was the end of the road. I was not going to be a statistic. It was clear. He knew he had crossed the line. I was no longer under his influence. I went ballistic, all hell broke loose. I wanted out. It was not up to him. If you are still mark timing in an unhealthy relationship, just know that it’s a time bomb. One day you will have to vote out, or get consumed by it. The choice is yours, make it today, or make it whenever. Some things are not worth fighting for. IF THERE IS NO HOPE IN IT, LET IT GO.”-Nereall Bosire