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Kibaki: Sh2b allocated to school feeding plan

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – The Government has allocated Sh2 billion for the school feeding program to ensure students in areas hard-hit by famine are catered for, President Mwai Kibaki has said.

The President emphasised that the school feeding program would continue even during the holiday in the areas affected by famine.

Speaking at State House Nairobi on Monday during this year’s Kenya Music Festival Winners’ Concert, President Kibaki added that the Government had also stepped up transportation of relief supplies through the use of military and National Youth Service trucks.

“This will ensure that food reaches those hardest hit by the current famine,” President Kibaki said.

The Head of State, at the same time, congratulated all Kenyans of goodwill who have provided material support to help their fellow Kenyans affected by famine.

The President, once again, urged Kenyans to be patriotic and to have faith in their ability to transform the country into a prosperous and vibrant democracy that is desirable to all.

He stressed that it is only through patriotism that the new Constitution and Vision 2030, both of which comprise the road map to a prosperous and democratic country, could successfully be implemented.

“As Kenyans, we need to nurture a sense of confidence and dedication to our country if we are to implement the new Constitution and Vision 2030 successfully,” the President said.

He reminded Kenyans that a people who do not respect and value their own nationhood cannot realise social, economic and political emancipation.

Noting that the theme of this year’s Music festival is ‘Fostering National Pride and Patriotism’, the President said the theme was particularly pertinent especially at this time when the country is implementing both the new Constitution and Vision 2030.

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Underscoring the importance of co-curricular activities in learning institutions, President Kibaki said his Government had continued to promote the development of co-curricular activities without levying any charges on parents.

The Head of State emphasised that the national music festivals were not only of great national importance but also highly refreshing.

In the current financial year alone, the President pointed out, Sh400 million would be spent on the management of co-curricular activities from the zonal to the national level.

“We expect this money to be prudently committed to the promotion of artistic talents as well as the social and intellectual development of our children,” the President emphasised.

He expressed satisfaction that the Government’s efforts in promoting co-curricular activities in educational institutions have been successful, noting that this year over 97,000 students participated in the Music Festival at the national level.

In this connection, President Kibaki reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to providing services and resources that will facilitate the holistic development of the country’s young people.

Said President Kibaki: “Most importantly, we see education as the most effective tool of preparing our youth for a highly competitive global environment.”

In addition to the importance of music as a medium of communication, the Head of State said the arts are also a source of income and employment and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

He said it was gratifying that music has been a fast growing industry in the country with many local talents being show-cased on local television and radio stations while many local artistes are also winning international awards and recognition.

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The President, therefore, encouraged television stations to continue increasing the local content in their programming, saying the content should be of high quality and have a positive impact in inculcating national values.

“Indeed, I have confidence that our entertainment industry is on the verge of a major takeoff. I see Kenyans taking a lead and exporting their products to other countries,” the President said.

As part of the Government’s commitment, President Kibaki directed the relevant agencies to ensure the strict enforcement of copyright laws in music and the performing arts.

He also urged Kenyans to promote and reward the creativity of local artistes by buying only original music to help empower them to move to the next level of success.

Said President Kibaki: “As a Government we will provide a conducive environment for artistes to thrive and fully exploit their potential.”

Noting that the National Talent Academy is already absorbing several talented youth in the country, the President said the Government will expanding the capacity of the academy to absorb more students both at the national and regional levels.

The President thank the Ministry of Education and all those involved in the management of this year’s Kenya Music Festival, including the teachers and performers, for the rich presentations witnessed at the festival.

In his address, Education Minister Sam Ongeri termed the national music festivals a gruelling competition with as many participants as 90,000 fighting it out to perform at the state concert before the Head of State.

The Minister noted that the many presentations by the youthful Kenyans fostered national pride, patriotism as well as horned leadership skills in the country.

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Prof Ongeri noted that the vigorous presentations revealed that the artists were full of energy and stamina that required to be positively channelled for national development.

On his part the Chairman, Kenya Music Festival, Prof Caleb Okumu termed the music festival the largest cultural festival in Africa adding that it has become an international tourist attraction.

Noting that the festival attracted over one million participants from the lowest administrative units, Prof Okumu thanked Kenyan Corporate organizations that continually make the event successful through their sponsorship especially Mumias Sugar Company, Equity Bank, World Vision, Interim Independent Electoral Commission, KWS among others.

The vivacious occasion was attended by Assistant Ministers Prof Ayiecho Olweny, Calist Mwatela, Permanent Secretaries Francis Kimemia, Prof James ole Kiyiapi and other senior government officials.


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