DESPATCH FROM CABINET
His Excellency the President on Thursday morning chaired a Cabinet Meeting at State House, Nairobi. The Meeting is the first since the end of the two-week Cabinet Working Recess that ended on 28th August, 2020. During the sitting, Cabinet considered a raft of policy interventions geared towards economic stimulus during and after the subsistence of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Cabinet also discussed seminal programmes and projects within the Administration’s Transformative Agenda for the nation espoused as the Big Four.
Cabinet applauded Kenya’s Healthcare Workers for their commitment to duty during the pendency of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Other frontline staff including National Security Officers were also recognized by Cabinet for their sterling role in leading the Nation’s response to COVID-19. As a measure of our Nation’s recognition of and pride in our frontline workers, Cabinet also approved the Comprehensive Insurance Cover for all frontline workers.
Cabinet noted that many Kenyan Health Workers had joined various programmes to support other nations in their fight against various Pandemics; such as the fifty Kenyans currently serving the Republic of Seychelles and the team of over one-hundred medical personnel who heeded the call to stand with the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it contended with Ebola.
In view of the foregoing, Cabinet ratified the Memorandum of Understanding for the Provision of Health Personnel between the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Kenya. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Republic of Seychelles continues to facilitate the Kenyan Health Personnel serving in that nation.
Cabinet also considered and approved an Inter-Agency Programme to prevent and respond to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the context of COVID-19. Cabinet noted that during the COVID-19 Pandemic there had been a marked uptick in undesirable social challenges, amongst them domestic violence, GBV and violations of the Rights of Children.
Cabinet underscored that Kenya’s heritage and social values situate the family as the most valued asset in Society, and situates children as the guarantor of our future. In that regard, Cabinet approved the establishment of toll-free hotlines and various online and mobile applications that would enable anonymous reporting of all incidents of Gender-Based Violence and all instances of abuse of Children’s Rights.
As part of the Administration’s interventions aimed at enhancing access to credit by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during the pendency of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cabinet approved the establishment of a Credit Guarantee Scheme with an initial seed capital of Ksh. Ten Billion to be capitalized in two tranches of Ksh. 5 Billion in FY 2020/21 and FY 2021/22. The State’s contributions are expected to be followed by contributions from Development Finance Institutions and participating commercial financial institutions; which are expected to boost the finding for the scheme to at least Ksh. One Hundred Billion. The Credit Guarantee Scheme is expected to be operationalized by mid-October, 2020.
Towards realization of the agenda on Affordable Housing, Cabinet approved the implementation of the Mukuru Social Housing Project, the first social housing programme in Kenya’s history. The Project, with an estimated investment value of Ksh. Fifteen Billion, will consist of over 13,000 housing units in a partnership between the Government and private investors. The development of the ancillary infrastructure to the project has since commenced.
Cabinet approved the Kenya Micro and Small Enterprises Policy; which aims to provide an integrated business environment for the growth and development of stable and vibrant MSEs in Kenya. The Policy recognizes the vital role played by MSEs in the economy, particularly with regard to wealth and employment creation.
In securing the market of our produce abroad, Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Associazione Caffé Trieste-Italy noting that it sought to enhance market access for Kenyan Coffee in Italy through a robust partnership for promoting our produce in the Italian market. Cabinet also noted that the move would provide a platform for similar engagements within the other European Union (EU) countries.
In order to foster the commercialization of Bamboo plants, and as part of the Administration’s Greening Campaign, which seeks to achieve a minimum ten-percent (10%) tree cover by the end of the year 2020 in addition to creating employment through agroforestry; Cabinet sanctioned the classification and designation of Bamboo as a scheduled crop under the Crop Act (No. 16 of 2013).
In fidelity with the Presidential Directive on the development of a welfare package to cushion frontline healthcare workers during the pendency of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cabinet approved the enhancement of the Group Personal Accident and Work Injury Benefit Act Cover and the inclusion of Comprehensive Group Life Cover for all Civil Servants, including the NYS.
The meeting also considered and approved the other memoranda, policies and bills as follows: Hosting of the 9th Edition of Africities Conference in 2021; Industrial Research Development Institute Bill, 2020, Proposed Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020; Development of the Commuter Rail Line from the Nairobi Central Station to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and The Kenya Global Partnerships for Education (GPE) Covid-19.
Cabinet concluded the day’s deliberations by noting that our national endeavor to flatten the COVID-19 disease curve was dependent on our individual and communal behaviour. In that regard, Cabinet urged all Kenyans to continue observing the guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health, that include: wearing of facemasks, rigorous and frequent handwashing, physical and social distancing.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Thursday,10th September, 2020