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Boinnet constitutes police team to secure inaugural Blue Economy Conference

Inspector General Joseph Boinnet told a news conference on Friday adequate personnel had been assigned to ensure the security of close to 12,000 delegates/file

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – The National Police Service has constituted a team tasked with managing security in Nairobi during the Blue Economy Conference next week.

Inspector General Joseph Boinnet told a news conference on Friday adequate personnel had been assigned to ensure the security of close to 12,000 delegates.

“We’re set and ready to ensure that participants both local and those who will come from overseas are safe. We’ve drawn the operation order and mobilized required personnel and other resources to ensure the conference starts and ends well,” he said.

“I want to assure those who will be coming especially from afar that we, as the police, are set to cover the conference and ensure everyone is safe and secure,” Boinnet reassured.

Eleven Heads of State are among 180 delegations that will attend the country’s inaugural ocean economy summit that kicks off on Monday.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Tuesday indicated over 11,000 delegates had already confirmed participation at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, exceeding an earlier target of 6,000 delegates.

“This is truly a global conference. One hundred and eighty countries have already confirmed attendance out of which 11 delegations will be led at the Head of State level,” she said.

“As at yesterday (Monday) we had a registration of 11,571 participants; clearly great enthusiasm from across the world,” she pointed out.

Juma who spoke when she met co-hosts and co-sponsors of the three-day event expressed gratitude for support received towards hosting of the conference whose Sh800 million budget is now fully funded.

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“Our co-hosts and co-sponsors are one of the main reasons why I can say with great confidence that Kenya is ready to welcome the world to Nairobi and the conference is destined to be a great success,” she pointed out.

Canada and Japan will be co-hosting the event with Kenya having each contributed Sh300 million.

Qatar and Norway have each contributed Sh50 million with the United Kingdom providing Sh33 million. China has contributed Sh20 million with Oman, Portugal, and Ireland donating Sh10 million each.

Other countries that have made contributions are Sudan (Sh5 million), South Africa (Sh8 million), Nigeria (Sh2.5 million), Fiji (Sh500,000) and France (Sh300,000).

The Ocean Foundation, European Union, and African Export-Import Bank (AfriEXIM Bank) have each contributed Sh150 million, Sh25 million, and Sh5 million.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have each made Sh10 million funding available.

The Kenya Commercial Bank and Capital Markets Authority have provided Sh5 million and Sh1 million respectively with the University of Nairobi and Kenya Tourism Board expected to provide non-monetary support.

Among foreign leaders expected to attend the conference are Seychelles President Danny Faure who was last week named the African Union champion for the Blue Economy.

Others are Namibia’s Hage Geingob, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Congo’s Sassou Nguesso, Somali’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, and Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

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According to the Director General of the conference’s Organising Committee, Ambassador Ben Ogutu, over 50 ministers have confirmed attendance for the three-day event.

“These matters of Blue Economy have got to have political goodwill and commitment to drive the process forward. The attendance of these leaders is actually a very strong statement from the leaders,” he said.

Ogutu told editors last Thursday that experts and scientists will also be attending the conference which Kenya will be co-hosting with Canada and Japan.

“We’ve invited luminaries in terms of speakers and experts including the Under-Secretary-General and Special Envoy for the Oceans on the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the African Ship-owners Association, as well as Professors,” he indicated.

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