KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers – AGRA, Equity, IFAD

KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
The cost of food is rising, placing a disproportionate burden on the poor who spend most of their income on consumables

NAIROBI, 6 May 2008 (IRIN) – Small farmers and agricultural enterprises are the main beneficiaries of a financing partnership launched on 6 May to help them break out of poverty and commercialise farming.

“We must insulate our people from the indignity of hunger and starvation,” James Mwangi, the chief executive officer of Equity Bank, one of the partners in the deal, said in Nairobi at the launch of “Kilimo Biashara” (Commercialising Farming).

According to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the partnership represents an innovative solution to the farmers’ credit crunch, with the aim of boosting food security and creating jobs in rural areas.

AGRA, with Equity Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, signed an agreement for a loan facility of US$50 million (Ksh3 billion) to speed up financing for at least 2.5 million farmers and 15,000 agricultural enterprises across the country.

The loan facility will operate against a “cash guarantee fund” from AGRA and IFAD to reduce part of the risk of lending by Equity Bank, AGRA said.
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KENYA: Govt raises funds, resettlement ongoing despite hitches

KENYA: Govt raises funds, resettlement ongoing despite hitches


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a camp in Eldoret, Rift Valley Province

NAIROBI, 13 May 2008 (IRIN) – The Kenyan government has raised Ksh1.46 billion (US$22.4 million) of the Ksh30 billion ($462 million) it says it needs to resettle at least 350,000 people displaced during the post-election crisis.

“The magnitude of the destruction caused by the violence was enormous; we will therefore require about 30 billion shillings to meet the full costs of resettlement, including reconstruction of basic housing, replacement of household effects, as well as rehabilitation of community utilities and institutions destroyed during the violence,” President Mwai Kibaki said on 12 May during a funding drive in Nairobi.

Kibaki helped to raise Ksh457,272,129 ($7 million), with donations mainly from government ministries and individual businesses, for the Humanitarian Fund for Mitigation of Effects and Resettlement of Victims of Post-2007 Election Violence.

On 5 May, the government launched a resettlement plan targeting 158,000 IDPs in camps across the country, which has seen some 85,000 IDPs resettled so far.
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Crisis in Kenya: Land, displacement and the search for ‘durable solutions’

Crisis in Kenya: Land, displacement and the search for ‘durable solutions’


Key messages

– Current post-election displacement in Kenya is not a new phenomenon but a recurring trend linked to unresolved land grievances, in a context of poor governance and socio-economic insecurity. This is of concern to humanitarians as the failure to understand the dynamics involved and the implications for recovery can exacerbate tensions and jeopardise attempts to resolve the crisis.

– Humanitarians need to engage with land specialists to ensure that their programming not only avoids exacerbating tensions, but is also consistent with efforts to address the structural causes of conflict.

– Return, relocation and local integration processes should not be promoted as durable solutions in the absence of serious attempts to resolve land-related grievances. If durable solutions are to be found, programmes must take account of those who were forced to move in earlier waves of displacement.

– The government’s urgency in encouraging IDPs to return despite continued political uncertainty and insecurity raises clear protection concerns. This includes both physical security and wider issues to do with rights, community reconciliation and sustainable access to the means of subsistence.

– In the absence of political progress and stability, urbanisation is likely to accelerate as displaced people seek alternative livelihoods.

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KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers

KENYA: Financing boost for small farmers


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
The cost of food is rising, placing a disproportionate burden on the poor who spend most of their income on consumables

NAIROBI, 6 May 2008 (IRIN) – Small farmers and agricultural enterprises are the main beneficiaries of a financing partnership launched on 6 May to help them break out of poverty and commercialise farming.

“We must insulate our people from the indignity of hunger and starvation,” James Mwangi, the chief executive officer of Equity Bank, one of the partners in the deal, said in Nairobi at the launch of “Kilimo Biashara” (Commercialising Farming).

According to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the partnership represents an innovative solution to the farmers’ credit crunch, with the aim of boosting food security and creating jobs in rural areas.

AGRA, with Equity Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, signed an agreement for a loan facility of US$50 million (Ksh3 billion) to speed up financing for at least 2.5 million farmers and 15,000 agricultural enterprises across the country.

The loan facility will operate against a “cash guarantee fund” from AGRA and IFAD to reduce part of the risk of lending by Equity Bank, AGRA said. Continue reading

NPI-Africa: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in Africa: Lessons and Implications for Kenya

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in Africa:

Lessons and Implications for Kenya

A Briefing Paper

By George WachiraI and Prisca Kamunge

This brief indicates some lessons and problems from TRC experiences in Africa and makes

recommendations for Kenya. Drawing on experiences from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia,

Ghana and DRC, this brief cautions that previous TRCs have not been as successful as is

sometimes assumed While the South African TRC (SATRC) gave new prominence to TRCs (or

TJRC in the case of Kenya3), it has led to a fzxation on a particular form of transitional justice at

the expense of careful consideration of the goals sought and the context of the specific transitions.

For the Kenyan TJRC to succeed it will have to respond to some of the problems identified.

I LESSONS, PROBLEM AREAS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Lesson and Problem Area 1:

TRCs Have not been as Successful as is often Assumed as tools

for truth, justice, reconciliation or national unity.

This is because:

o Victim-focused recommendations are ignored, delayed or only partially implemented.

o Citizens’ expectations are often outside the mandate and capacity of the TRC.

o Victims come before the TRCs in large numbers while perpetrators tend to stay away

o Perpetrators quickly get amnesty while the threatened prosecution is never followed up

o TRCs have often been politically-correct, focusing only on non-controversial truth

o Given their poor follow-up on recommendations, particularly those pertaining to

reparations to victims in the context of great material need, TRCs are increasingly viewed

as facilitating the very impunity they set out to reverse as perpetrators get away without

accountability while the victims’ needs are not met

Recommendations:

Ø Clear goals must be articulated and communicated to the public as to what the TIRC

hopes to achieve with regard to each of the three elements (truth, justice and reconciliation).

Ø A commitment by the government to implement recommendations and undertake

necessary follow-up should be secured up front.

Ø The TJRC Act should provide for an Independent Follow-up Mechanism with a clear

mandate to spearhead the implementation of the TJRC’s recommendations.

Ø The government’s commitment to cooperate and support the process and follow-up

should be secured through a presidential order, as recommended by the Makau Mutua

Task Force on the TJRC in 2003.

Ø Public expectations can be managed through a careful awareness campaign, wide

consultations and clear articulation of the purpose and role of the TJRC, and its relationship, synergies or linkages with concurrent commissions, competent institutions

and follow-up mechanisms (where applicable).

Ø In its legislation and design, the TIRC should have clearly stated linkages with other

related institutions or commissions such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Lands

Commission or the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The framework for

such collaboration and linkages should be worked out before the commission concludes

its work.

Lesson and problem area 2: Overriding Expectations of Material Compensation

Kenya has to weigh carefully what the primary purpose of the TIRC is to be.

TJRC: NPI-Africa briefing-paper – Lessons and Implications for Kenya

REFLECTIONS ON CONFLICT SENSITIVE RECOVERY, RECONSTRUCTION AND RESETTLEMENT

An open statement by the Kenyan Civil Society Organisations working on peace and conflict resolution

To: The Chairman,

National Reconciliation and Dialogue Committee

Dated Tuesday, March, 11th 2008

REFLECTIONS ON CONFLICT SENSITIVE RECOVERY, RECONSTRUCTION AND RESETTLEMENT

INTRODUCTION

We, the community of Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) involved in peace building work throughout Kenya, coming together under the auspices of the Peace and Development Network (PeaceNet-Kenya), have decided to issue the following statement on the ongoing National Resettlement and

Dialogue processes.

Concerned about the wave of violence in Kenya since December 29th 2007, we teamed up to roll out a national assessment and response on the post election violence alongside several other intra-community dialogue interventions throughout the country under the Electoral Violence Response Initiative (EVRI. These interventions are geared towards preparing the communities for resettlement, recovery and reconciliation.

BACKGROUND

The National Reconciliation and Dialogue Committee that was formed after a successful national and international mediation has agreed on a number of resolutions to address the root-causes and the consequence of the 2007 post election crisis.

Kenya has gone through a traumatic experience characterised by the post electoral violence following the disputed 2007 presidential elections. The consequence of the violence has seen the loss of over 1000 lives, displacement of over three hundred thousand people and destruction of livelihoods of millions of Kenyans. Further consequences have been the growing tension in traditionally calm regions such as Central Kenya.

The challenge now is on the implementation of these resolutions and others that will follow in a conflict sensitive perspective. Continue reading