Dozens of participants from across the region will hold a virtual conference organised by the Global Peace Foundation that seeks to chart solutions to recover from the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Global Peace Leadership Conference will run-up to tomorrow. It will bring together more than 1,000 participants drawn from Non-Governmental Organisations, governments, civil society as well as media from Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, the United States and Britain.
The focus will be to share best practices and lessons learnt, with special emphasis on the role of the youth in creating opportunities for self-employment to adjust from the economic fallout caused by the pandemic.
Some of the panelists lined up to speak are industrialist and philanthropist Dr Manu Chandaria, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Nairobi Siddharth Chatterjee, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru and Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu.
“The situation is going to be very different after Covid-19. We will need to reduce our needs and there will be huge job losses and we will have to be self sufficient,” said Dr Chandaria. “This is not easy and involves listening to those who have achieved some of these goals hence the summit.”
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Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate close to three-quarters of Nairobi residents were unable to pay the May and June rents. At the same time, the Central Bank of Kenya has indicated that majority of small and medium-sized enterprises will not reopen their doors after the pandemic, throwing the jobs of millions of young people into uncertainty.
“This conference gives us the chance to sit, talk and understand each other, leveraging experience from our regional neighbours, including Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda,” said Dr Chandaria.
Other panelists include Rev David Kobia, chairman of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Dr Esther Muchemi, CEO of Samchi Group and deputy speaker for Ugandan Parliament, Jacob Oulanya.
Panelists at this year’s conference will also step up crucial peace-building programmes, including entrepreneurship and development projects in the Turkana-Pokot-Karamoja region.
This was the subject of the last discussion at the conference in Kampala that saw Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Yoweri Museveni sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
This year’s conference also marks the 10th anniversary of the Global Peace Leadership Conference held in Nairobi and inaugurated by retired President Mwai Kibaki.