Zimbabwean economist Aeneas Chuma, who has been appointed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to Kenya, will spearhead efforts to transform Kenya into a middle-income country.
In his first statement after securing the Kenyan government’s diplomatic approval tag, the new UNDP chief said he would mobilise donors and the non-governmental organisations to tackle Kenya’s economic woes.
He also vowed to focus on the provision of quality education in Kenya and enrolment for the country’s free basic education system, which he suspects might be bogged down by poverty and a spiraling HIV/AIDS spread.
“Chuma’s contributions will be strategic to realising the Kenya government’s new development Vision 2030, amongst other endeavours, in the wake of the new coalition government,” said a UN statement issued here late on Monday.
Kenya has started the implementation phase of its Vision 2030, which aims at making the East African state a middle-income country with a sustained higher economic growth rate, preferably double-digit, to cut down the national poverty indicators.
The new vision hopes to see Kenya’s rural areas transformed into sources of raw materials to power an urbanising society, while also making smaller towns surrounding Nairobi as part of the bigger metropolis and centres of industrial excellence.
“The new UN Resident Coordinator will be looking to pursuing this unique opportunity to address social and economic development challenges in Kenya and to furthering the country’s achievements on the Millennium Development Goals,” the UN said.
According to the UN, the issues of immediate concerns will be food security and reversing the high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in parts of Kenya.
Kenya’s national HIV prevalence rate is 7.8% of the its 35 million people.
Chuma, who joins the UNDP mission in Kenya from a similar position in Zambia, hopes to revive the UN’s involvement in Kenya’s national development agenda and has prioritised a working partnership with the private entrepreneurs to enable him succeed.
He has also set his sight on an elaborate economic and social framework for Kenya.
Part of this endeavor will be an initiative to overcome some of the obstacles to doing business with the poor, which the new UNDP official will launch soon.
He will be addressing some of the obstacles to doing business in Kenya during the launch of a new groundbreaking report, titled ‘Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor.”
The planned launch forms part of the global initiative dubbed “Growing Inclusive Markets”.