Cabinet Secretary Handover Donations to cushion vulnerable households in Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties

Cabinet Secretary Handover Donations to cushion vulnerable households in Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties

Cabinet Secretary, Prof Margaret Kobia on Thursday 9th, July handed over food and non-food items to COVID-19 Response Committees in Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties to cushion vulnerable households during this period.

Addressing residents while  accompanied by the respective county commissioners, Prof. Kobia noted that the impact of Covid-19 global pandemic is affecting every part of our society and a partnership approach is needed to respond to the emerging challenges.

She lauded partners from the County Government, the National Government, the private sector, and NGOs for providing donations to cushion the vulnerable households from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cabinet Secretary commended Maendeleo ya Wanawake for providing the national network that will ensure the donations reach the most vulnerable women in our society.

“National Government has put in place various interventions to combat Covid-19 pandemic and the National Emergency Response Committee has been coordinating efforts to mitigate the pandemic together with other state and non-state actors,” said Prof. Kobia.

She appealed to the communities in FGM hotspot Counties to support H.E the President’s call to end FGM in Kenya by 2022. She urged for expedited prosecution of the perpetrators of GBV who continue to violate the rights of innocent girls and women.

On her part, Principal Secretary, Mrs. Mary Kimonye called on all public servants to continue discharging their mandate while strictly observing the laid down protocols on combating the Covid-19 global pandemic.
She said in the post-Covid paradigm, public service delivery is going digital which opens up opportunities for youth to serve.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake National Chairperson, Mrs. Rahab Mwikali challenged parents to pay keen attention to their responsibilities now that children are squarely under their care.

She called on religious leaders to teach right morals to repair the broken social moral fabric which has led to unprecedented teenage pregnancies.
Mwikali nostalgically recalled that Tharaka Nithi County was the first one to introduce alternative rite of passage to FGM in the 1990s. She challenged county leaders to upscale the rite and use it to achieve H.E the President’s commitment of End FGM by 2022.

The items handed over included kits, buckets, masks, bar soaps, lessos, rice, beans and fortified health foods. Donors included UNFPA, WEF, UWEZO Fund, Kenya Pipeline Company and Ministry of Devolution and ASALS.

The Cabinet Secretary also presided over the issuance of Affirmative Action Fund cheques from the Women Enterprise Fund worth Kshs.34.15 million to 135 women groups and Uwezo fund worth Kshs. 19.19 million to 238 groups in Meru County. In Tharaka Nithi County Women Enterprise Fund disbursed cheques worth Kshs. 11.45 million to 38 women groups and UWEZO Fund disbursed Ksh 5.9 million to 93 groups to cushion women businesses and their families during this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Other leaders present included Tharaka Nithi Governor, Muthomi Njuki, UNFPA Country Representative, Dr. Ademola Olajide, and Bishop Silas Mugambi among other local leaders.

CS, Prof. Margaret Kobia officiated the handover of food and non-food items donated by various organizations to women leaders at the NYS Headquarters, Ruaraka.

CS, Prof. Margaret Kobia officiated the handover of food and non-food items donated by various organizations to women leaders at the NYS Headquarters, Ruaraka.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia on Wednesday 8th officiated the handover of food and non-food items donated by various organizations to women leaders at the NYS Headquarters, Ruaraka.

The women leaders have been entrusted with the distribution of the items to the most vulnerable families across the country, with special focus on women.

In her remarks, Prof. Kobia lauded the women leaders for providing support to women and girls who are faced with a crisis during Covid-19 pandemic.

She noted that the Government has announced policy measures including the establishment of Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Programme which targets the vulnerable groups and called on women leaders to take action in order to cushion and protect women and girls at this time when they are most vulnerable.

“The caring role in society falls upon us as women and mothers. Women are the primary caregivers to communities and families in times of crisis,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Prof. Kobia applauded H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta for directing action on  Gender Based Violence and the rising cases of teenage  pregnancies arguing that it will make the domestic space safer for all, including women and girls.

Also, read: NYS Launches Strategic Plan and Unveils Innovation Projects

Further the CS, indicated that the Ministry through the Affirmative Action Funds has fast tracked release of funds to cushion women enterprises since the month of March, whereby Ksh. 694 Million loans have been processed from the Women Enterprise Fund and the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.

The institutions who have given the donations flagged off today include: Kenya Pipeline Company, National Youth Service, UNFPA, Women Enterprise Fund and Uwezo Fund.

Among leaders present during the event were Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh, Director General – National Youth Service, Matilda Sakwa, UN Women Representative, Anna Mutavati, Chairperson, NGAAF Prof. Wanjiku Kabira, Chairperson, WEF Ms. Njoki Kahiga and MP, Kandara Constituency Hon. Alice Wahome among other women leaders and partners.

NYS Launches Strategic Plan and Unveils Innovation Projects

NYS Launches Strategic Plan and Unveils Innovation Projects

On Tuesday, the Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia hosted her cabinet colleague for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Mr. Joe Muhceru during the unveiling of the National Youth Service (NYS) innovations and launch of Strategic Plan 2019/2020-2023/2024 at the NYS Headquarters Ruaraka, Nairobi. 

In her remarks, Prof. Kobia congratulated the NYS leadership for their efforts in the realization of the Strategic Plan. 

She urged the Council and Management to ensure that the implementation of programmes is carried out in accordance to the strategic plan.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that the establishment of a commercial arm within the NYS, affords the Service the opportunity to engage in various enterprises as a source of revenue generation needed to enhance the sustainability of NYS programmes and projects.

Also, read on: Chief Administrative Secretary Inspects Ministry Programs and Disburses Affirmative Funds in Seven Counties

Prof. Kobia observed that the current challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic has seen NYS taking the frontline role in responding to the pandemic. 

Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru in his address lauded the NYS smart innovation of an electric tuk-tuk and handcart which he termed environmentally friendly. The innovations will provide a low-cost individualized transport alternative for SMEs and those who do not own private vehicles.

He said African economy depends on countries’ entrepreneurs being able to absorb and creatively adapt technological knowledge and innovation since entrepreneurship serves as a catalyst in industrialization and economic growth.

“The uniqueness of this innovation we are launching today is that it brings together key ecosystem actors that lead to successful growth of start-ups globally,” said CS Mucheru.

Mr. Mucheru maintained that the Government will always focus to create an enabling environment that supports innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers to step out and explore.

During the occasion, various partners gave donations to assist the vulnerable groups affected by Covid-19. Among these were Uwezo Fund, Women Enterprise Fund, Kenya Pipeline Corporation, UNFPA, and Ministry of Devolution among others.

Leaders present included Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh (Public Service and Gender), Principal Secretaries Mary Kimonye (Public Service), Prof. Collette Suda (Gender), and Julius Korir (Youth Affairs); Director General – National Youth Service, Matilda Sakwa and UNFPA Country Representative, Ademola Olajide among other government officials and partners.

Past event: Public Service Prepares For Africa Public Service Day 2020


Chief Administrative Secretary Inspects Ministry Programs and Disburses Affirmative Funds in Seven Counties

Chief Administrative Secretary Inspects Ministry Programs and Disburses Affirmative Funds in Seven Counties

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh conducted a two-week inspection tour of the ministry’s programs in seven counties in the Western and Central regions. In the seven counties, Ms. Shebesh visited Huduma Centres, the ‘Kazi Mtaani’ program, and the Rehabilitation of the Kisumu port and Central Kenya railway line system. At the same time, the CAS facilitated disbursement of a total of Kshs 255 Million from the ministry’s Affirmative Funds.

Her visit to Huduma Centres was meant to assess their preparedness as they plan to resume delivery of services following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. She toured the National Hygiene program dubbed ‘Kazi Mtaani’ in the counties. Kazi Mtaani is a national initiative under the supervision of the NYS. It aims to cushion youth whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The NYS is also engaged in the rehabilitation of the Kisumu port and the Central line of the old railway system.    

During her Western region tour, the CAS inspected operations of ‘Kazi Mtaani’ in Obunga, Manyatta, Nyalenda, and visited Kisumu Port. In Nakuru County, Hon. Shebesh inspected the ongoing ‘Kazi Mtaani’ program and disbursed over Kshs 28 million to vulnerable groups from the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF). 

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh inspecting the ongoing ‘Kazi Mtaani’ programme in Nakuru County  on 5th June, 2020.

In the Central region, the CAS visited NYS Tumaini field station in Nyandarua County where the NYS runs a potato seedlings production project. She called for an increase in the production of certified seedlings and provision of the same to Nyandarua farmers to cushion them during the pandemic period. 

In her discussions with the County leadership, she noted the rise of Gender-Based Violence cases during the Covid-19 period and urged the leadership to use existing National and County government’s structures to set up Gender-Based Violence (GBV) recovery facilities and safe houses to help GBV victims.

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh accompanied by Laikipia Governor Nderitu Muriithi, Deputy Governor, Mr. John Mwaniki and County Commissioner,  Mr. Daniel Nyameti during the inspection exercise of the ongoing rehabilitation of the 233Km Nairobi-Nanyuki railway in Laikipia County on 13th June, 2020.

In Kiambu, Hon. Shebesh assessed the progress made with the ‘Kazi Mtaani’ project, the railway rehabilitation works in Kiandutu, Thika Town, and Kariminu, and presided over the issuance of Affirmative Action Funds worth Kshs 89 Million to various groups of Youth, Women, and Persons with Disabilities. In Murang’a County she disbursed over Kshs 57 Million. In Nyeri County, the CAS disbursed funds worth over Kshs 63 million. In Laikipia County,  she disbursed over Kshs 18 Million and challenged the residents to take advantage of the government interest friendly loans. 

She noted that the launch of phase two of ‘Kazi Mtaani’ program would provide a lifeline to 200,000 jobless youth across the country while imparting discipline and life skills under the supervision of the  NYS officers.

In all her stops the CAS interacted with the NYS servicemen and women and encouraged them to continue making their valuable contribution to national development.

Public Service Prepares For Africa Public Service Day 2020

Public Service Prepares For Africa Public Service Day 2020

The nation will next week celebrate the Africa Public Service Day on 23rd June.

Celebrated every year across Africa, the day serves as a platform for Public Service organizations to showcase and reward excellence in the Public Service in order to promote and sustain quality in service delivery. The day was set aside by the African Union for public service organizations to reflect on the successes and challenges within the public service and ponder on plausible mitigating measures to address service delivery challenges.

Kenya has this year selected the theme:Entrenching Good Governance: Developing Transparent and Accountable Public Institutions, which resonates with the 2020 African Union themeSilencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. 

In line with the prevailing situation occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic and emerging natural disasters among them floods and locusts, the national celebrations for this year will focus on responses to these challenges.

“This year’s celebrations will be unique in that it challenges the way we deliver public services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced service organizations world over to be innovative and adapt new ways of doing business,” said Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender, as she expressed her enthusiasm for this year’s event. She further said that, “even in the wake of challenges posed by COVID -19, continuity and sustainability of excellence in public service delivery remains a priority for government

This year’s events will focus on activities that support the vulnerable citizens in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic; environmental conservation, particularly on tree planting in line with the President’s express commitment to achieve 10%  forest cover by 2022; and recognition of public service innovations and citizen engagement.

Specific activities organized by the State Department for Public Service include donations to vulnerable members of the public, tree planting and environmental cleanup activities in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and other stakeholders, among them county governments and National Administration. Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries will lead their respective ministries and state departments in the tree planting exercise in various designated sites across the country.

The Nation’s Public Service sector has organized forums for Citizen engagement through a series of online interactions and public discourses led by renowned scholars and public figures.

The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender Prof. Margaret Kobia, urged Public Institutions in the National and County Governments to take part in the various activities that have been planned to mark the celebrations in line with their respective mandates.

“This year provides a unique opportunity for publice service to demonstrate sensitivity to challenges facing society and to re-double our efforts in serving the citizens while adhering to ethos and principles of public service,” said the Principal Secretary for State Department for Public Service, Mrs. Mary Kimonye.

As part of the celebrations, Ministries have been requested to identify and recognize Public Service Agencies, institutions and individuals that have applied innovation and excelled in public service delivery while serving in the frontlines of Covid-19 mitigation efforts. Download PDF

See more about APSD 2019 ( African Public Service Day 2019 ) Held in Kenya.



Nairobi, Friday, 20th September 2019,

This week Kenya is hosting the 12th Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (12WAMM), an initiative of the Commonwealth member countries which brings together ministers, senior officials, civil society organisations, academia and development partner agencies to discuss critical issues in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Commonwealth.

The first meeting was held during the Third World Conference on Women held in Nairobi in 1985. The WAMM meetings have since been held every three years and the hosting is rotated among the Commonwealth regions.

As a Commonwealth member country, Kenya made its contributions to the meeting centered on the priority themes of the commonwealth on gender empowerment: women’s economic empowerment; women in leadership; ending violence against women and girls; and, access to affordable quality health care, a cardinal pillar in the Presidents Big Four Agenda of Universal Health Care.

Additionally, the meeting aimed to build synergies with the ICPD + 25 (Nairobi Summit) that Kenya will be hosting with UNFPA in November 2019.

Kenya shared the progress it has made in terms of policy and legal frameworks to entrench gender equality.

Article 27 of the 2010 Constitution guarantees equality and freedom from discrimination stating that every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.

Beyond the supreme law, the development blueprint Kenya Vision 2030 has reinforced the same. Other policy and legal frameworks have been enacted to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination.

These include National Human Rights Policy and Action Plan; The Marriage Act 2014; The Matrimonial Properties Act 2013; The Land Act 2016; and Draft National Policy on Gender and Development among others.

With regard to access to health services, Kenya put in place the Community Health Policy and the Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2017 on the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030.

These policies ensure free maternity service which has resulted in more safe deliveries with 61 per cent of births being performed by skilled health providers. The government programs ensure that expectant women get free pre and post-natal care which has gone a long way to ensure safe deliveries and proper care for both mother and child.

Kenya recognizes that women’s economic empowerment is critical to achieving gender equality as well as sustainable development which encompasses productive employment and decent work for all, ending poverty and reducing inequalities.

To this end, the Government put in place various programs that include gender mainstreaming, affirmative action and gender-responsive budgeting.

The government has set aside special catalytic funds dedicated to women, persons with disabilities and the youth for development programmes. These include:

  • A Women Enterprise Fund that provides micro-finance credit and other financial support for women;
  • The Youth Enterprise Development Fund that provides credit for young men and women to enable them to establish businesses; and
  • The Uwezo fund that gives seed money as startup capital to the special interest groups.

Others worthy of mention include Access to Government Procurement Opportunity program that reserves 30 per cent procurement opportunities for the vulnerable; and National Government Affirmative Action Fund which runs programs targeting socio-economic empowerment of women, youth, and persons with disabilities, children and elderly persons.

Kenya shared its programs and experiences with regard to prevention and response in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV). Of special reference was the National Policy on Prevention and Response to gender-based violence passed in 2014 which birthed the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, 2015.  Subsequently, between 2015 and 2016, there were 4,299 newly prosecuted cases of sexual and gender-based violence and 871 convictions.

To monitor and mitigate the effects of GBV, a toll-free hotline (1195) operated with support from various telecom agents is in place. The goal is to involve community members and survivors in the fight against sexual violence, FGM and other forms of violence by ensuring early reporting of all the cases within the recommended 72-hour window.

Ministry of Health is in the process of establishing 47 Gender Based Violence Recovery Centers in the 47 Counties by the year 2022. Four centres have been established where survivors receive integrated medical, and psychosocial support services, access to justice and initial temporary protection in one place.

On inclusive leadership, the Kenya constitution was noted to have served the gender agenda impressively well. Article 27 (8) of the constitution states that, the State “shall take legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender.”

In addition, the constitution reserves 47 seats for women in the National Assembly and 16 seats for women in the Senate courtesy of Article 98. There are other progressive articles which embed equality and non-discrimination based either on ethnicity, religion, tribe, education, gender, political, economic, cultural and social domains.

Subsequently, there has been tremendous growth in women participating and holding key positions. The trajectory has been upward. After the 2013 general elections, women representation in Parliament increased from 22 women in the 11th parliament to 86 in the 12th parliament while 96 women were elected as members of country assembly.

In 2017, parliament had three women elected and 18 nominated to the Senate, three women elected as Governors, 98 women elected as members of County Assembly while 599 were nominated in fulfilment of the two-thirds gender principle at the County level.

Other sectors fared much better with women accounting for 57% of all practising lawyers, 49% of magistrates, 41% of High court judges, 36% of county commissioners, 33% of Members of County Assemblies and 31% of senators, to mention some important sectors.

These are significant gains by any consideration.

The commonwealth meeting has provided a platform for Kenya to share with the rest of the commonwealth family on its achievements and best practice.

The country has made notable strides in many spheres beyond the commonwealth thematic concerns. However, there is a lot more ground yet to be covered. The outcomes of the 12th WAMM will inform and strengthen the country’s gender agenda going forward.

Like the inaugural meeting in Nairobi of 1985, we expect that the outcome of the current meeting will be as impactful in driving the global gender equality agenda.



Friday, August 15th, 2019

The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender on 15th of August honoured the late Bomet Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso by naming a women’s leaders award in her memory. Named the Purple Ribbon Award, the prize will be awarded to women leaders who display exemplary leadership, courage, perseverance and resilience while promoting national values of peace, human rights and social equity.

During the inauguration event hosted by Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry Public Service, Youth and Gender, Prof. Margaret Kobia and attended by eminent women leaders at a Nairobi hotel, the Cabinet Secretary noted that the award will recognize women and girls who show determination, perseverance and courage in the face of adversity.

“The Award will serve as an affirmation to the achievement and leadership of women in promoting national values, peace, human rights and social equity as exemplified by the late Hon. Dr Joyce Laboso during her life. The late Hon. Laboso demonstrated that true heroism is not achieved by focusing on ourselves, but by moving beyond the self and doing well for all humanity,” she said.

The event was the second since the launch of the program last year by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta to honour women who excel in different sectors of the Kenyan society. The inaugural program last year witnessed the conferment of National Honours to 30 eminent women leaders by His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Cabinet Secretary commended the Eminent Women for their foresight, struggle and resilience which led to the realization of gender equality and women empowerment. She said that it was from their struggles that women’s rights became recognized as human rights now enshrined in the Kenyan constitution.

Prof. Kobia challenged women in leadership to take the younger women under their wings and mentor them to develop their leadership skills. “Through mentorship we can mold a capable generation from the youthful population that looks up to us for guidance to whom we can pass the leadership baton,” the Cabinet Secretary said.

Among the eminent women leaders in attendance included Kirinyaga Governor Anne Kamotho and Wife of the Former Prime Minister Ida Odinga among others.

By Rogers Muthama



The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender on 9th August 2019, launched 15 refurbished Youth Empowerment Centers in various Counties across the Country.

The centers will serve as resource facilities for youth in the respective regions to access ICT services, guidance and counselling on drugs and substance abuse, HIV/AIDS prevention among other services. They are also equipped to provide positive leisure activities including indoor and outdoor and games.

As one of the activities marking the National Youth Week 2019, fifteen Principal Secretaries from various state agencies commissioned the newly refurbished centers spread out across the country. The Principal Secretaries held conversations with the youth from the respective regions in a bid to identify the immediate needs of the youth from the localities.  

In his statement, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Public Service and Youth Dr. Francis Owino, stated that the Government embraced the idea of establishing Youth Empowerment Centers in 2008 by establishing 152 Centers in over 100 Constituencies by 2012. The centers had remained largely unused and needed refurbishment to make them useful centers for youth.

“In order to make the YECs operational and beneficial to the youth the Ministry embarked on refurbishing 21 Centers in the last financial year 2018/2019,” said Dr. Owino. He noted that the Ministry has allocated funding to refurbish another 60 centers in the current financial year 2019/2020.

Youth Centers are a Vision 2030 flagship project under the social pillar the Government will embark on putting in place the balance of 138 YECs in the remaining Constituencies and Sub- Counties once the existing 152 are fully operationalized.

 “Broadly, the YECs provide safe spaces to address social, economic and health needs, including psychological concerns, prevalent among the youth,” added Dr. Owino in the statement. 17 Youth Centers launched during the National Youth Week were in the counties of Embu, Nairobi, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Bomet, Nandi, West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Kitui, Kilifi, Kakemga, Garissa, Mandera, Homabay and Kwale.