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Kibaki back after weeklong trip abroad

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3  – President Mwai Kibaki returned home on Thursday morning from Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago where he attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

During the meeting, the Commonwealth leaders passed several key resolutions, among them the affirmation of their commitment to the Lake Victoria Commonwealth Climate Change Action Plan.

The meeting was also of special significance to the East African Region as Rwanda was admitted as the 54th member of the Commonwealth having fulfilled the criteria and procedures agreed on during the 2007 Commonwealth meeting in Kampala, Uganda.

Other issues discussed during the meeting included the world economic situation, the living standards of Commonwealth citizens and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially in least developed countries.

The leaders emphasised the importance of promoting sustainable development with regard to environment, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and human resource development.

On food security, the leaders underscored the need for increased investment in sustainable agriculture and rural development as a way of boosting agricultural production.

On health, the Commonwealth Heads of Government reaffirmed their commitment to attaining the health related MDGs.

Kenya has continued to successfully implement the MDGs in all sectors having made significant progress in education and health sectors.

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In education, the Free Primary Education programme which was implemented by President Kibaki immediately he came to office, has accorded many school-age children the opportunity to receive education.

Similarly, the subsidised secondary school fees has tremendously improved the transition rate at the two levels of education.
With regard to health, the government has established an immunization programme which is free to all children under five years.

Through this initiative, Kenya has managed to raise the coverage of immunization to almost 80 percent while almost 70 percent of children aged five years and below sleep under mosquito nets distributed free of charge by the Government.

The government is also providing free anti-retroviral drugs to patients and has established a large number of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Centres throughout the country to provide free services.

The plane carrying President Kibaki and his entourage touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before 7am and he was received by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, the Chief of General Staff General Jeremiah Kianga and the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura among other senior Government officials.

At the airport, the President inspected a colourful guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army before he was entertained by choirs and groups of cultural dancers.


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