(Statement) President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset visit to Kenya

(Statement) President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset visit to Kenya

- in News, Opinion
President of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Alain Berset

The President of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Alain Berset will be on an official visit to Kenya from 9th- 10th July, 2018

Kenya and Switzerland have enjoyed a cordial relationship over the years. Early this year, the Swiss Embassy inaugurated its new Embassy building in Gigiri, Nairobi which is an indication of continued trust and respect between the two countries.

Our partnership has since occasioned great progress in the health and development sectors and restored social security for many Kenyan people. The visit by the Swiss President is therefore intended to strengthen these close ties and identify other areas of cooperation particularly on the Big 4 agenda.

There are several areas of cooperation that will be highlighted during the visit.

1. Swiss Development Agency presence in ASAL areas
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is currently supporting the strengthening of our water and livestock sectors in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) region. Its projects are facilitating livestock production, increasing access to water and pasture and supporting counties to reduce conflicts and deliver the required services at the county level. Their support is complementing government efforts at enabling robust and sustainable pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods in the region.

2. Swiss Skills for Life pilot project in Kakuma Refugee Camp
Refugees have the potential to contribute positively to the Kenyan society and to enrich the host communities through their skills and qualifications. The SDC has been providing refugees at Kakuma Camp with life and livelihood skills. The first phase of the project saw 580 refuges and residents of Kakuma benefit from vocational skills to enable them to work and live with dignity. Increased partnership in this area will therefore see more refugees integrated in to the host communities and lift some of the barriers to inclusion that continue to affect the refugees from our neighbouring countries

3. IGAD-Switzerland cooperation
As a leader in humanitarian affairs the Swiss government continues to work closely with IGAD to contribute to a safe and economically sound region. Its partnership with IGAD, has focused on the areas of food security, migration and peace and security. The projects launched under the IGAD- SDC partnership have been successful in promoting better resource and migration governance in the region. As a member state in IGAD, Kenya stands to benefit from a secure and prosperous continent and we therefore appreciate the financial, technical and operational investments currently being provided by the Swiss government.

4. Swiss support to Kenya’s Big 4 Health Pillar
Africa’s pharmaceutical industry continues to grow at a compound rate in the areas of generic medicine, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication and medical devices. Stronger partnerships in the pharmaceutical sector has placed Kenya as a competitive hub for local and international drug manufacturers, drug suppliers and pharmacies. Novartis (a Swiss healthcare company) is a key partner in the industry and in 2015 Kenya was the first country to launch its Novartis Access Programme. The programme which is being implemented through KEMSA amongst other local health institutions, is enabling increased access to medication for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer, respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular diseases. The programme is also supporting the Ministry of Health in updating the national treatment guidelines for non-communicable disease.

Roche is also a major partner and player in our health industry as it is providing quality human pharmaceuticals and hospital consumables within the East African region. The Kenyan government is especially privileged to have it is as one of its key pharmaceutical distributors as it pursues Universal Health Care (UHC) for all the Kenyan people.

Manoah Esipisu, MBS

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