NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The Cabinet on Thursday approved the Population Policy for National Development, which is aimed at facilitating a manageable population growth.
The policy proposes a wide range of measures to ensure that the country’s population growth rate is in tandem with its resources.
Through a statement sent to newsrooms, the Cabinet indicated that the policy would help find ways of attaining a higher quality of life for Kenyans in addition to enhancing women empowerment.
“An effective application of the policy is expected to lead to reduced mortality and fertility rates, better skills utilisation and empowerment of women,” read the media brief.
“It is also expected to give rise to balanced social and economic growth path under sustainable environmental conditions,” it added.
High birth rates and declining death rates in the country have already been seen as a challenge of attaining Millennium Development Goals.
The population policy will also create awareness and educate Kenyans on the effects of rapid population growth.
According to the National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development there is need for sustained family planning efforts.
The Cabinet, meeting in State House Nairobi under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki, also approved the establishment of the South-South Center, which is expected to increase trade and investments for the country.
“The centre aims at promoting South-South cooperation in technology, new age businesses and partnerships with the private sector. It aims at the gradual integration of Kenya into the global economy,” noted the Cabinet.
The Ministry of Planning will be in charge of the centre, which will among other things act as the clearing house for South-South engagements in Kenya.
It will also promote mainstreaming of South-South cooperation policy in all sectors to capitalise on current programmes that are untapped.
According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the centre will also examine regional and sub-regional programmes and provide advice to the government on potential links that could be established with other initiatives within and outside the region.
The UNDP further notes that the centre will cooperate with other international organisations and governments with the aim of identifying technical cooperation projects under bilateral and multilateral arrangements.
“Kenya has for a long time cooperated with other countries of the South. This has led to the signing of various trade, technical and economic cooperation agreements at the bilateral level, thus enabling Kenyan products to gain access to international markets,” explained the UNDP website.
Thursday’s Cabinet meeting at the same time approved the establishment of a permanent secretariat of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development.