Kenya has appealed to world leaders meeting in Copenhagen to strengthen the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) into a World Environmental Organization that Kenya stands ready to host. UNEP offices are located in Gigiri in the outskirts of Kenya capital Nairobi. Speaking during the 46 Jamhuri Day (Independence Day) celebrations in Nairobi, Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki said that the country has done much in terms of environmental conservation. The government has taken decisive measures to conserve the five main water towers; Mau, Cherangany, Mt Kenya, Mt Elgon and Aberdares with the aim of ensuring that forest and water catchments are properly conserved.
The government is also implementing a project in 46 districts by providing 65 million seedlings for reforestation. The government is also pressing on with plans for the construction of the standard gauge railway from Mombasa, a coastal town in Kenya to Kampala Uganda, the establishment of Special Economic Zones.
Also in the agenda is the construction of Lamu Port along the coast and second transport corridor to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia. Countries within the East Africa region heavily depend on the port of Mombasa for shipped goods. The president has directed the relevant ministries and agencies in Kenya to complete all the preparatory works so that each of these projects will be launched within the next six months.
The Kenya government is diversifying the financing of infrastructure investment to facilitate the development. In the same vein the president noted that investing in Kenya from next year will be investing in East Africa. He described the region as an emerging economic powerhouse in Africa. He challenged local and international investors to take advantage of the bright future that lies ahead for the region through the East Africa Community Common Market protocol that was signed last month. “This common market will allow free movement of labor, capital and investments within Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, and takes effect this coming July,” the president said. The East Africa Community has a potential market of over 125 million people.
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