Hivos East Africa

East Africa

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Over the past two years, the government of Kenya has set out on an ambitious plan with regards to electrification of both households and public institutions through grid extension, resulting in astronomical jumps in connectivity of both schools and households.

In the past couple of weeks, news about fraudulent tendering processes have been making headlines. The scourge of flawed procurement processes has unfortunately denied many Kenyans crucial services such as health, education, water and infrastructure amongst others. While discussions in public discourses lightly delve on proper mechanisms to fight corruption; billions of tax payers’ money continue to be lost in corrupt procurement schemes.

Why civil society’s contribution is crucial in ensuring energy access for all

I was part of an inspiring half-day session named 100 Days of Learning, organised by the Age of Wonderland program on Valentine’s Day. An initiative to foster social innovation by facilitating co-creation between creatives in Africa, Latin America and Asia and the Netherlands.

The city of Valencia hosted the 3rd Internet Freedom Festival from 5-10  March 2017. The festival brought together a diverse group of over 1200 people from 114 countries to discuss issues related to privacy, anonymity, access to information and policy and advocacy for Internet freedom.  Internet Freedom in Africa was widely discussed with the issues of privacy, repressive regulations, Internet shutdowns, and user awareness on rights and government surveillance.

Looking back on my overwhelming first time attending a Council of the Parties (COP) at COP22 in Marrakech last November, it was filled with so many meetings, side panels, negotiations and networking opportunities that it was easy to overlook the real people affected by lack of access to energy. Acronyms were flying all over the place, COP veterans sped past us newbies to get to the next negotiation session for LTF – that’s long-term climate finance to you and me – and  little huddles of people speaking in a truly foreign language (COP-lingo) were gathered outside every meeting room and ever

You can almost see nothing inside the Manyatta (a home, often temporary of the Maasai/Samburu people). The window and only ventilation is the size of two adult hands. There is fire burning probably to keep the place lit up and warm given it is a rainy day. Even with the choking darkness one cannot fail to notice the hanging soot from the mud ceiling. At night, our host, Grace Malipe uses a kerosene wick. She has four children in school and this is their source of light as they go about their homework.

Just one day at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) showed me that this year’s theme, ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work’, may finally bring some well-deserved attention to the feminization of migration and the plight of women in domestic work. But - will this attention actually result in measures to protect their rights? For those paying attention, Hivos’ panel discussion on 13 March, “I work without Rights, Do you care?” revealed some very necessary steps to take.

Last week, the world celebrated the International Women’s Day. While tremendous gains have been made economically, socially and politically in the last decade for women, a lot more still needs to be done. Take for example the role of women in food production. Over the weekend, The New Vision newspaper, Uganda, highlighted a story noting that women's lack of control, acquisition and ownership of land has incapacitated their ability to increase production in the agricultural sector.

Within the first week of assuming office, US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. Simply, this policy prohibits any entity that receives US Government (USG) funding from carrying out any abortion-related activity, regardless of the source of funds. 

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