President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the 74th Session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters on September 25, 2019 in New York. PHOTO | JOHANNES EISELE | AFP
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
New York/United Nations
Kenya has made significant advances in the fields of education, health care, environmental protection and economic development, President Uhuru Kenyatta told world leaders on Wednesday.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Head of State stressed that the country seeks a negotiated solution to its maritime boundary dispute with Somalia.
“I am hopeful that the federal government of Somalia will be amenable to the search for a sustainable resolution to this dispute,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Higher living standards can be attained if developing countries make right policy choices, President Kenyatta observed.
He cited Kenya’s investments in education that enable the country’s children to have East Africa’s highest rate of school enrolment — an average of 10.7 years.
All Kenyan students now transition from primary to secondary school, he noted.
Kenya facilitates girls’ education by providing all female school students with sanitary towels, the president said.
He also said mobile money transfer system M-Pesa is an effective tool for development.
“Taking advantage of mobile phone financial services, we have more than tripled financial inclusion, from 26 per cent in 2006 to 82 per cent in 2019,” Mr Kenyatta said.
“In the Horn of Africa region, a complexity of factors has, in the last three or so decades, led to multi-layered threats to peace,” he added.
Climate change is among the factors exacerbating conflicts, President Kenyatta said.
“Never have we world leaders faced such a stark choice — redeem the world or destroy it.”
To protect the environment, Kenya has banned single-use plastic bags and launched the largest wind-power project in Africa, the president noted.
Kenya is also on track to achieve universal health coverage by 2022, he said in New York.