Speech for Principal for AWSC Conference held on 2nd May2014

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SPEECH
BY
PROF.
ENOS
NJERU,
THE
PRINCIPAL
COLLEGE
OF
HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI, DURING
THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WOMEN
AND FOOD SECURITY IN KENYA HED ON FRIDAY, 2ND MAY 2014 AT
9.00AM IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
Ms Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning;
Prof G A O Magoha, Vice Chancellor, the University of Nairobi;
Ms Ann Onyango the Agriculture Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock
and Fisheries, State Department of Agriculture;
Prof WanjikuKabira, Director of the African Women Studies Centre,
(All protocols observed)
I am indeed happy to be part of this momentous occasion. This National
Conference on Women and Food Security in Kenya is the result of a long
journey that the African Women’s Studies Centre started back in 2012. We are
here to deliberate on the conclusion of two studies that the Centre has
conducted and which have finally borne fruits. The first one was a Baseline
Survey on the Status of Food Security in Kenya, which was carried out in
collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. The second one was
a Study to Document Kenyan Women’s Experiences, Perspectives and Knowledge
on Food Security Issues.
Our Constitution incorporates provision of food as a socio-economic right.
However, we are still a long way from providing quality food for all.
The
research that the Centre has conducted is germane not only to Article 43 (1) (c)
of the Constitution but, even more importantly, to the sustenance of 7.1 million
Kenyans who are often or always hungry.
I would like to take this opportunity
to commend the African Women’s Studies Centre on its continued advocacy for
the full implementation of this constitutional provision.
The findings and
recommendations of the studies in question have been well received by the
various audiences with which they have been shared, including County
Assemblies, the National Assembly and the Senate.
1
I am proud to be associated with the African Women’s Studies Centre and with
their good work. All through this research, my College has been supportive and
will continue supporting the progressive endeavors of the Centre. Let me take
this opportunity to congratulate you once again on what you have accomplished
so far.
This research could not have come at a more opportune time. The research
findings show that there is serious food insecurity in the country, with more
than a quarter of the population being in dire need of food. The research
findings also indicate that even those areas that have long been viewed as the
food baskets of the nation are facing high incidences of food insecurity.
The research was conducted in all regions of Kenya and as such the findings
are a true reflection of the situation that Kenyans put up with every day. This
calls the enactment of urgent measures to curb food insecurity. These
measures should be put in place by the National and the County Governments
and supported by the whole nation. As the Research Reports recommend, small
scale farmers need to be supported more efficiently so as to improve
productivity.
This means that the laws, policies and programmes on food
security should be more rigorously and diligently implemented.
Ladies and gentlemen, a nation that is able to feed its people is a progressive
nation. Kenya should be one such nation.
The just concluded nation-wide research on the food security situation in Kenya
will go a long way in providing practical and sustainable solutions to food
insecurity in the country. The recommendations generated as a result of the
study ought to be adopted so as to ensure better promise in food secure
counties and ultimately a food secure country.
Ladies and gentlemen, I must say that this is a landmark achievement not only
for the Centre but also for the CHSS and the University of Nairobi as a whole.
2
Now, ladies and Gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to invite Ms Ann A Onyango, MBS
the Agriculture Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, State
Department of Agriculture to give the keynote address.
Thank you
3
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