CABINET MEDIA BRIEF: June 27, 2013

Cabinet today held a meeting and deliberated on the ongoing teachers strike among other issues of national importance. The Cabinet reiterated its wiliness to resolve the teachers’ strike. In this regard, the Cabinet urged KNUT and KUPPET to heed the call by the Government to have a negotiated settlement of the issues that triggered the strike action.

The Cabinet, at the same time, urged the teachers to abandon the hardline stand and embrace dialogue and return to school so that normal learning can resume.

The meeting, which was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, was also briefed on the Cabinet Memorandum on the provision of laptops to learners in public primary schools and the progress made towards implementation of the laptop project for Standard One pupils. The Cabinet noted and appreciated the progress achieved in this endeavor and adopted the report on the progress achieved.

The Cabinet approved the implementation of the project in three phases. The first phase will cost Kshs 15 billion during the 2013/2014 financial year and not Kshs 53 billion as reported in some sections of the media. The benefits of the project include improving learning in schools and generating job opportunities for the youth through local computer assembling under Public Private Partnerships.

In addition, 1.5 million new electrical connections in schools and neighborhoods will be realized. This will rejuvenate the development of the Jua Kali sector and spur industrial growth in rural and urban areas. The Cabinet formed a seven-man committee headed by the Principal Secretary for Education to spearhead of the laptop project.

The Cabinet also discussed and approved the following Bills:

(i)

The Law Society of Kenya Bill 2013

This Bill provides for amendment of the current Act to include changes that will entrench governance and values espoused in the Constitution. The changes to the Act will also provide for a more robust regulatory framework and introduce international best practices. The aim is to also ensure that the administrative and financial architecture of the Law Society of Kenya is responsive to a modern era that will embraces good governance. The Bill, when it becomes law will facilitate effective and efficient functioning of the society in accordance with Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya. It will also professionalize the legal practice and enhance the rule of law.

(ii) Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer

The Cabinet noted that Kenya is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on the ozone layer and has also ratified the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer. Since its ratification in 1988, there have been amendments to the Protocol which sought to phase out both the production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The benefits of the amendment include reduction in ozone layer depletion, enhanced food security and improved health.

(iii) Cabinet Memorandum on the mainstreaming of youth and gender issues in Government Ministries

The Cabinet was briefed on the measures to be undertaken to mainstream youth and women issues in the development process. In this regard, ministries will be required to ensure gender and youth interests are prioritized in all policies, strategies and operational decisions and submit monthly progress reports to the Office of the Presidency.

(iv) The Nairobi International Financial Centre The Cabinet approved the establishment of the Nairobi International Financial Centre. The purpose of the centre is to connect Kenya to international financial markets by providing for international banks to operate in Kenya. In this regard, the Cabinet directed that the centre be set up by December 2013.

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