By Samuel Ouma
British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot has launched the Sustainable Urban Economic (SUED) Programme in Mandera, Kenya’s Northeastern.
SUED is part of the North East Taskforce, a Kenya-UK partnership aimed to support stability and development, tackling drivers of instability and symptoms in the area.
The programme aims at building resilient urban centres in reducing the negative impacts of threats. It will provide jobs, and livelihood opportunities, including for youth most vulnerable to violent extremism.
Marriot said amid the Covid-19 pandemic, locust invasion, insecurity, and adverse climatic change, economic development is key to building security and stability in Mandera County.
During her first visit to the region, Marriott was accompanied by the Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugine Wamalwa. Mandera Governor Ali Roba received them.
Governor Roba decried over security threats he said are derailing development projects.
The visit came months after the UK’s Secretary of State of Defence, Ben Wallace, and Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i signed a refreshed Security Compact to strengthen our fight against terrorism and promote security and stability in the region.
The pact was signed in January this year during Wallace’s two-day visit to Kenya. Before the signing of the deal, the duo co-chaired high-level talks under the third UK-Kenya Security Dialogue.
“The Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Kenya, were therefore delighted to meet once again in this Senior Ministerial forum and agree a refreshed Security Compact, providing renewed impetus and strategic direction for addressing these shared challenges together,” Wallace said.