Cabinet approves bid to host Afcon in 2027, scales up aid

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba briefs journalists soon after  FIFA lifted Kenya's suspension from all footballing activities. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Cabinet has approved the scaling-up of drought response to alleviate the suffering of 4.3 million households countrywide.

The Cabinet, sitting at State House, Nairobi, Tuesday okayed interventions targeting vulnerable individuals and households, with the primary objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods.

President William Ruto acknowledged the support extended by the country’s development partners led by the United Nations and international and local NGOs.

“The support has been received both in cash and in-kind under the auspices of the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund that is spearheaded by the National Steering Committee on Drought Response,” read the statement by the Cabinet Office.

Also approved was the National Tree Growing Restoration Campaign as part of long-term measures to address the effects of climate change and desertification.

The campaign targets to mobilise the nation to plant 15 billion trees by 2030, which translates to 30 per cent of the national tree cover.

On the economy, the meeting noted that there were ongoing trade negotiations seeking to enhance duty-free and quota-free access to Kenyan products under the Free Trade Area Agreements with the United States, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and the European Union.

The Cabinet gave a greenlight for the country to host the Kenya International Investment Conference in the third quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year.

The conference will offer investment opportunities in special economic zones, public-private partnerships, and foreign direct investments in energy and affordable housing.

It is also expected to attract investment in agriculture, health, water, roads, transport, the Lappset corridor, financial services including the Nairobi International Financial Centre, and ICT-related opportunities like the Konza City.

As part of marketing Kenya globally, the Cabinet also approved bids to host and participate in a number of conventions and conferences, including the 2023 Africa Youth Connect Conference, expected to attract more than 10,000 youth from Africa.

Others are the hosting of the Africa Private Sector Alliance Conference in March 2023, bringing together the top 100 companies in Africa in support of the accelerated implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area; and the hosting of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Business Council Conference in February 2023.

On the issue of health, Ruto’s Cabinet approved Kenya’s accession to the membership of the International Vaccines Institute. 

The Cabinet noted that access to the body was part of State interventions to address the ‘vaccine apartheid’ witnessed at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Cabinet approved the rebuilding of Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets with the aim of qualifying for the 2030 Fifa World Cup.

It also okayed a proposal for Kenya to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), alongside EAC partner states to further regional integration.

The Cabinet gave Sh17 million – its entire salary for November – to the drought relief kitty.