News and Events
KENYA PERMANENT MISSION TO UN HABITAT TREE PLANTING EVENT AT UPLANDS FOREST,JUNE 10TH 2022
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to UN-Habitat Amb. Jean Kimani led members of staff of the Mission, members of the Diplomatic Corps in Nairobi and the local community of Lari Uplands in planting 1,000 tree seedlings at the Uplands forest in Kiambu. The initiative which is a partnership between the Kenya Mission to UN-Habitat and the Kenya Forest Service involves the adoption and greening by the Mission of one hectare of forest land.
This initiative is in furtherance of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s vision and commitment to achieve a minimum of 10 percent forest cover by 2022 as part of the country’s efforts to address the challenge of climate change.
At the launching ceremony, various speakers underscored the importance & need to establish and protect forests with host, Mr. Thomas Kiptoo, County Conservator of Forest committing to ensure the planted trees will be well looked after. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Ambassador of Eritrea H.E Beyene Russom cited the health benefits he had personally reaped as a result of being an active member of the Friends of Karura Forest for the past eleven years .The UN-Habitat Regional Office for African States head Mr. Oumar Syllah on behalf of the Executive Director showed clear linkages between forest health and resilience of towns and urban ecosystems.
The Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat Amb. Jean Kimani emphasized the Government of Kenya’s commitment to placing the Environmental sector as a key goal of the country’s vision 2030 adding that it centered on the need to conserve natural resources and to increase the forest cover.She also underscored the importance of Uplands as a source of water for Nairobi City residents, bringing to the fore the centrality of environmental stability in achieving livable ,inclusive,safe ,sustainable and resilient cities.
9TH EDITION OF THE AFRICITIES SUMMIT FINAL DECLARATION
World Cities Day 2021
Building Climate Resilience for the Urban Poor (BCRUP) Panel session at the 9th Africities Summit
Amb. Jean Kimani participating in a panel discussion on "Building Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor. The Permanent Representative underscored the importance of heightening local engagement in addressing issues of the urban poor as majority of the challenges affect the developing world. The discussion,” Mobilizing Investment in Resilience where it matters’’, attracted the participation of various partners including National, Sub-National, local area leaders and private players. Locally, the implementation of BCRUP will upscale the Kenya Urban Resilience Programme that focuses on, among other key areas, the establishment of economic stimulus projects. These are supported by Kenya vision 2030, the Big 4 agenda, the New Urban Agenda, the National Urban Development Policy and Urban Investment Plans, all aimed at empowering the local urban economy and populace. The BCRUP implementation strategy, is a culmination of a multiagency and multidisciplinary effort towards enhancing the adaptive capacity of the urban poor population. The key implementing Institution is the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing Urban Development and Public Works (State Department of Housing and Urban Development), which serves as the Habitat and Human Settlements Secretariat of the Government of Kenya.
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta Launches the 9th Edition of Africities Summit in Kisumu City
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta on 17th May 2022 launched the 9th Edition of Africities Summit held in Kisumu City. The President called for tangible, practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing Africa’s urban areas and noted that the summit provides an effective forum for the continent to take stock, reflect and plan on the best ways of addressing the challenges of urbanization. The President noted that the theme was timely as the summit comes at a critical time when, Africa’s rapid urbanization and the challenges of future cities, are increasingly coming into sharp focus; more so after the shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the President said.
This year’s Africities summit held under the theme “The role of intermediary cities of Africa in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063” is the first to be hosted in an intermediary city. President Kenyatta in his statement emphasized the need to scale up the role of intermediary cities as the next frontiers of African urbanization and development citing that the 9th Africities summit had the task of providing the continent with a comprehensive and achievable roadmap on how intermediary cities can contribute more towards the implementation of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063.
The President informed the summit that in Kenya the National Government has over the last five years been implementing projects and programmes geared towards the improvement of the lives of Kenyans through the achievement of SDGs adding that the Government had also embarked on a slum upgrading programme spread across the country, notably in the capital city of Nairobi and the intermediary cities of Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru.These concerted actions had been taken through the Kenya Devolution Support Programme, the Urban Support Programme, the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme and the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Programme. H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that cities and local authorities around the world played a key role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, citing that they proved to be an indispensable “ring” in the governance chain and prevention of the pandemic.
Launch of the Kenya Strategy on Building the Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor (BCRUP) at the 9th Africities Sumit, Kisumu, 17th-21st May 2022.
The 9th Edition of Africities Summit will be held in Kisumu City on 17th-21st May 2022.The theme of the 9th Edition is, ‘The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063’. The Africities Summit pursues two major objectives;
Defining appropriate shared strategies in order to improve the living conditions of people at the local level.
Contribute to the integration, peace and unity of Africa starting from the grassroots.
Kenya intends to launch the building the climate resilience of the urban poor (BCRUP) on the sidelines of the summit.
BCRUP is one of the 41 Climate initiatives of the UN Climate Action Summit held in New York in September 2019. These initiatives aim at raising climate ambitions and to scale up climate action to stay within 1.5 C temperature rise as per the Paris Agreement (COP21). H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Building Climate Resilience for the Urban Poor (BCRUP) initiative on behalf of the global community during the Climate Action Summit. H.E the President has led from the front on this important initiative and has spearheaded several initiatives.
The Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019 was structured into 9 tracks with Kenya, co-leading the Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action (ICLA) track with the Republic of Turkey and technical support by UN-Habitat. There were five (5) sub-tracks under the ICLA track namely Buildings; Transport; Climate Resilience for the Urban Poor; Decentralized Finance; and Subnational Mobilization. Kenya undertook to spearhead the sub-track on “Building Climate Resilience for the Urban Poor (BCRUP)” with Brazil as member and UN-Habitat providing technical support.
The BCRUP initiative is conceptualized around five outcomes namely:
Hotspot Identification of vulnerable urban areas, which involves mapping out of cities at global, national and subnational scales that have the urban poor and vulnerable to climatic disasters. Kenya has identified about 580 urban poor areas to be subjected to climate vulnerability assessment.
Green Climate Resilience Urban Spatial Plans, which entails preparation of climate change responsive development spatial framework and land use zoning regulations to deter urban sprawl and proliferation of informal settlement.
Human Settlement and Infrastructure Improvement, will deliver policies and regulations to effect low carbon emissions and efficient and resilient built environment and climate proof infrastructure.
Green Urban Economy, community adaptation, livelihood strategies and tenure security interventions, which is geared towards improving livelihood and enhance safety net for urban poor thus focusing on inter alia Clean Energy for Cooking, Waste to Energy, Revenue Generation, social safety net and development of disaster risk management centers.
Strengthened Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) urban dimensions and database. An estimated 60% of Kenya's urban population living in urban areas being categorized as Urban Poor, and having been mapped as living along fragile urban ecosystems and are characterized by low adaptive capacities due to low-income levels. Some of the negative impacts that affect the urban poor are flooding, landslides, water shortages, poor air quality, and sustainable social, economic and livelihoods support infrastructure. The BCRUP initiative therefore is a milestone that will go a long way to turn urban system to vibrancy and productivity.
The BCRUP initiative links with several programs that are being implemented including, Kenya Urban Programme, Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP), Kenya Urban Resilient Programme, Kenya Informal Settlement, and Improvement Programme, Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme, and Affordable Housing Programme.
Kenya has put in place policies and legislative frameworks that support the implementation of the programs including the BCRUP initiative: the National Urban Development Policy, National Housing Policy, Slum Upgrading Policy, Urban Areas and Cities Act, and the Climate Change Act. These policies when unpacked, prescribe partners’ roles and linkages to the BCRUP component.
The BCRUP Implementation Strategy is a culmination of a multi-agency and multidisciplinary effort towards enhancing the adaptive capacity of the urban poor population.
On Thursday 5th May 2022, the Principal Secretary State Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Charles Hinga led key Partners at a meeting to deliberate on the implementation of BCRUP. In attendance were various stakeholders, State Department for Housing and Urban Development, UN-Habitat, KEPSA, KURA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NCCG, State Department for Transport, State Department for Physical Planning, Embassy of Brazil, UNEP, EU, KIPPRA, Kenya Permanent Mission to UNHABITAT, and National Treasury.
Focus was on synergizing and leveraging resources (technical and financial) towards operationalization and implementation of the BCRUP- Kenya Initiative with an aim of;
Enhancing the Socio-Economic Transformation of the Urban Poor,
Building Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Human settlements,
Promoting environmental sustainability in the urban areas,
Mainstreaming resilience of urban institutions,
Promoting the adaptive capacity of the urban poor, and
Strengthening nationally determined contributions (NDCs) urban dimensions and database.
Partners agreed on the need to work together and create practical ways of addressing issues of the urban poor. The strategy is set to be launched at the 9th Africities Summit in Kisumu on 17th-21st May 2022.
High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda
The High-Level Meeting on the New Urban is taking place at the United Nations Headquarter in New York. The objective of the meeting is to assess progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda which was adopted in Quito in 2016. Further it aims at galvanizing International Communities’ collective efforts towards sustainable urbanization.
The New Urban Agenda is a road map for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and recognizes the importance of cities as engines of economic growth and transformation. It also promotes affordable and sustainable housing as part of investments in the creation of jobs and social protection systems. The meeting aims at building momentum to support implementation of New Urban Agenda.
Outcomes of the meeting will comprise a summary of Results-oriented current actions by all actors including Governments and future commitments towards implementing the New Urban Agenda as expressed by Member State delegations and participating local and non-State actors. These outcomes will inform Member States’ engagement at other high-level meetings.
A number of side events were organized as a build up to the high-level meeting beginning 21ist April, culminating into the main High-Level meeting on 28th April. Some of the key events of interest to Kenya included the Special Meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social and Council (ECOSOC) held on 21st April and a Ministerial Dialogue for African Ministers responsible for Housing and Urban Development held on 27th April to galvanize Africa’s priorities on the New Urban Agenda. Others include side events on Affordable Housing and Ending Homelessness, Financing Climate Adaptation and the Role of Innovations and Technology in Accelerating Sustainable Urbanization among others.
Kenya participated at the main meeting and the side events, and was represented by a high-level delegation led by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, Mr. James Macharia, EGH, who delivered Kenya’s Statement at the Opening Session of the meeting. He was accompanied by The Principal Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Mr. Charles Hinga, CBS, and Senior Governments officials from Kenya’s Permanent Mission in New York, Kenya’s Permanent Mission to UN-Habitat Nairobi and the State Department for Housing and Urban Development.
WUF 11 JOINT INSPECTION MISSION
Pictured on a visit to Katowice Poland, UN-HABITAT advance mission on a joint inspection mission for the World Urban Forum #WUF11 to be held in June 2022. Kenya as a Member of the Bureau of the Executive Board was represented by the Permanent Representative Amb. Jean Kimani.
Special African Ministerial Session on Sustainable Urbanization and Housing , Nairobi ,13 TH -14 TH April 2022.
World Urban Forum 11
9th Africities Summit
Kenya Permanent Mission to UN-Habitat Tree Planting Event
High-Level Meeting on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda
Kenya Elected to the Bureau of UN-Habitat Executive Board.
First Session of UN-Habitat Executive Board 2022
Amb. Jean Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat with UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Shariff at the first session of UN-Habitat Executive Board meeting 2022.
The Ambassador reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to the implementation of the 4th pillar of reform designed to maximize the fulfillment of UN-Habitat’s mandate to support Member States in implementing and monitoring #SDG’s and the #New_Urban_Agenda at National and Sub National Levels.
The Permanent Representative also expressed Kenya’s support for the new organizational structure to increase the programme’s work at the Country and regional level underscoring the importance of UN-Habitat’s regional architecture in enabling the organization to implement its normative and operational work.
Kenya reiterated the importance of strengthening the Africa Regional office to better position the continent to reap the benefits of the New Urban Agenda and deal with the challenges of rapid urbanization.
Kenya has provided two officers to the Kenya Country office in view of the underlying staffing challenges facing the Organization noting the importance of adequately supporting UN-Habitat in its work to be relevant to the needs of the developing Nations.
Openning Session Executive Board 1 / 2022
Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga 0n 29th March at the opening of the 1st Session of the Executive Board of UN-Habitat 2022 reiterated Kenya’s commitment to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through the strengthening of established frameworks like the HCPD 2022-2025 and Kenya’s Big Four Agenda that prioritizes housing as a major pillar of Kenya’s Medium term plan.
The Ps also called on Member States to render their support to UN-Habitat in seeking additional funding on the regular budget to open up posts that are currently frozen.
The PS appreciated the Efforts by UN-Habitat around the utilization of collaborative platforms and ongoing cooperation in preparations towards the High level meeting of the General Assembly to review implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
Kenya also noted the recent interventions by the organization around the Covid-19 response initiative citing their centrality in fostering social inclusion and bridging the inequality gap even as Members focus on post recovery.
UN Ocean Conference Advisory committee meeting
The Principal Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amb. Macharia Kamau, pictured, welcomed at the Permanent Mission by Amb. Jean Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat for a meeting with members of the UN Ocean Conference Advisory Committee, as well as key partners and champions of the Ocean and Blue Economy (drawn under the umbrella of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy on which H.E the President serves)
The ongoing redevelopment of Uhuru Gardens into a modern people's park is part of the Government’s efforts in ensuring the country’s green spaces are well protected and restored while preserving Kenya's rich history...
The theme of World Cities Day 2021 “Adapting cities for climate resilience” comes at a time when the effects of climate change continue to negatively impact on livelihoods and communities.
World Habitat Day Celebration Preparations
This year, Urban October opens with World Habitat Day on 4 October which will be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon on the 4 October 2021. Kenya's National Celebrations will be held at the Olkaria Geothermal Spa in Naivasha.
Statement by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly
H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly September 22, 2021.
UN-Habitat Nairobi Metropolitan Services MOU Signing Ceremony
On 14th July 2021 UN-Habitat and Nairobi Metropolitan Services signed an Mou aimed at establishing Co-operation frameworks for promotion of sustainable urban development within Nairobi City County.
High Level Mid-term review meeting of the UN-Habiat CPR 29th June-1st July 2021 (1)
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) held its inaugural first open-ended high-level midterm review meeting from 29 June to 1 July 2021.
World's Cities Summit 2021
Amb. Jean Kimani presents credentials to the Director General of United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON)
On Wednesday 17th March, 2021, Amb. Jean Kimani presented her letters of Credence to the Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
In her welcoming remarks, H.E. the Director General of the United Nations Offices in Nairobi - Mrs. Zainabu Hawa Bangura expressed appreciation at the invaluable support provided by Kenya to the United Nations Offices in Nairobi especially being the Headquarters.
The Africities is a Pan - African conference convened by the United Cities and local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) in colaboration with the county government of Kisumu and will bring together leaders from cities, subnational governments and their associations for advancements of decentralizations and local governements with the aim of improving living standards of its citizens.
2021 Executive Board Session
MOU Signing - Nakuru County
The first session of the Executive Board in 2021 was held virtually from 7th to 8th April 2021. The Executive Board aims to increase the oversight of UN-Habitat’s operations by Member States and to strengthen UN-Habitat’s accountability, transparency and effectiveness. It comprises 36 Member States elected by the UN-Habitat Assembly and convenes two to three times a year.
Friday, 5 February 2020 – UN-Habitat and the County Government of Nakuru today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their collaboration. The MoU was signed by H.E. Hon. Lee Kinyanjui, Governor of Nakuru and Mr. Oumar Sylla, Director, Regional Office for Africa of UN-Habitat and........
We, the delegates at the Africities Summit meeting in Kisumu, Kenya, from 17 to 21 May 2022 on the theme of the Intermediate Cities in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union 2063 Agenda.
Having been honoured by the High Patronage and personal participation of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, in the presence of His Excellency Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; His Excellence Danny Faure, former President of Seychelles, of Royal Majesties representing the Traditional Authorities of Africa, and an important delegation of the African Diaspora,
Given the change in the pattern of settlements in Africa from being a continent majority rural thirty years ago becoming majority urban in the coming ten years;
Acknowledging that small and intermediary cities currently host 60 per cent of urban dwellers and account for nearly 50 per cent of the African GDP;
Taking into account the 150 million people from Africa or African descent living outside the continent and forming the African Diaspora that is spread over the five continents and represents over 4 trillion dollars of purchasing power;
Recognizing that the structural transformation expected from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and called for by the African Union Agenda 2063, will not materialize if the continent does not leverage the huge opportunities offered by small and intermediary cities and their rural hinterlands and implement a more balanced spatial distribution of economic activities and jobs creation;
Understanding that climate change is here to stay and that the task of the day is for African local governments to adapt to the consequences of climate change and adopt more climate compatible and resilient pathways to the development at the level of cities and territories, including in intermediary cities;
Aware that the acceleration of the digital transformation of society puts pressure on cities and local governments that are summoned to revise their management and relations with the citizens and the other stakeholders, through the use of digital technologies and smart solutions, despite the limitations they encounter in terms of availability of infrastructure, equipment, and skilled personnel;
Fully sensitized to the fact that women and youth are the levers of the structural transformation of Africa and should therefore be more involved in the governance structures of cities and territories;
Declare the Following
We wish to make intermediary cities structuring poles of sustainable development in Africa by granting them a prominent place in spatial planning, and creating new territorial dynamics that promote exchanges and linkages between the rural and urban environments.
We affirm our willingness to establish a constructive political dialogue between the different spheres of government in order to abide by the principle of subsidiarity, an essential factor in the effectiveness of public policies.
We undertake to give priority to urban planning as an instrument for controlling the growth of urban and peri-urban areas by putting in place the institutional, legal, regulatory and operational instruments as well as the conditions for a participatory dialogue with the people.
We endorse the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, the Right to the City and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda and their translation into local development plans and call on African countries to develop concerted urban development strategies with adequate technical and financial resources in accordance with the United Nations New Urban Agenda.
We are convinced of the place of youth in the construction of the new Africa and call on the Mayors to create local youth empowerment councils aiming at their blossoming, their integration and their socialization in the city.
We adopt Culture as the 4th pillar of sustainable development by strengthening the cultural identity of territories to make it a potential vector of economic development.
We call on the Mayors to develop programs and action plans to fight precariousness and vulnerability, especially the ones of street children, isolated women, and dissocialized youth, to combat violence against women by participating in the actions of women’s groups, and to sign the African Charter for Gender Equality of REFELA and applying its principles in our local governments.
We affirm that climate change is a key issue for our territories and recommend to local governments adopt the necessary measures to prepare their territories for the consequences of climate change and invite them to adhere to the Convention of African Mayors for Climate.
We call on all States to sign and ratify the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralization, Local Governance and Local Development and to ensure the proper implementation of the principles it contains.
We call for a better distribution of public resources in favour of the development of intermediate urban centres and for greater attention to the public policies intended meant for them.
We call for better use of local taxation and an effective collection of local government taxes, notably property tax.
We call on the Central Governments to develop programs to strengthen connections between intermediate cities and their hinterlands in order to strengthen exchanges around economic watersheds by eliminating transaction costs.
We propose to strengthen the links between intermediate cities and the capital cities of the States by building secure road networks, railway infrastructures and air links based on local realities and to strengthen digital connectivity.
We would like the African Union and the African States to recognize the importance of decentralized cooperation and exchanges between local and regional governments so as to strengthen the knowledge and powers of our institutions.
We support the establishment of an African Erasmus scheme for committed young people, as enshrined in the 2063 Agenda.
We call on the entire African community to commit itself to the emancipation of women and young people by promoting economic support programs dedicated to women and young people, but also by facilitating access to decent and affordable housing, guaranteeing security, by preventing delinquency through campaigns to combat violence against women, and by offering young people integration and socialization programs through sport and culture.
We call on international partners to support the development of African intermediary cities by setting up dedicated programs and funding adapted to local realities.
We call on the partners, in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Aid Effectiveness, to align themselves with the ongoing decentralization processes in the African States based on decentralized or ongoing sector-based policies of decentralization.
We call on the international community to take into account the point of view of local and regional governments in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of global agendas.
We call for the emergence of a world where Africa is recognized as a continent contributing to the emergence of a united global society that respects the planet, the climate, the biodiversity and primarily men and women who form the same and common destiny