NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – The British and Kenyan Governments have launched an urban economic plan in North Eastern region which is aimed at providing jobs and livelihood opportunities for young people vulnerable to violent extremism.
The Sustainable Urban Economic (SUED) Programme was launched Tuesday during a visit to Mandera by UK’s High Commissioner Jane Mariott.
During the visit, Mariott noted that the new program is part of the UK’s joint North East Taskforce, working with the Government of Kenya to tackle the drivers of instability in the region that borders Somalia.
High unemployment rates among young people have been cited by the United Nations among the key drivers pushing them to join militant groups.
“Through our North East Taskforce, we are supporting long-term stability and development, tackling the drivers of instability as well as the symptoms,” she said.
She was accompanied by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamala and Mandera Governor Ali Roba.
Being her third visit to the region, Mariott reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the long-term stability and development of the Somalia neighboring counties.
“I’ve seen today, how economic development is key to building security and stability in Mandera County and the North East region. I’ve also been able to meet with teachers and health workers who work tirelessly on Kenya-UK projects to educate future generations and provide quality care,” she said.
As part of her visit, Marriott toured several UK-supported projects in the town, including the Mandera County Hospital and Mandera Secondary School.
On his part, Wamalwa said he was “privileged to launch the Programme which we will be undertaken in collaboration with the UK government.”