NAIROBI – Kenya’s Cabinet on Thursday, January 30, 2020, approved the commencement of talks with the United States of America on the establishment of a free trade arrangement between the two countries.
The Cabinet meeting held at State House, Nairobi and chaired by President Kenyatta acknowledged that the negotiations, which may take long to conclude, will help Kenyan goods to have smooth access to the expansive US consumer market especially as the AGOA pact comes to an end.
In the sitting, the Cabinet also received a progress report on the ongoing 100 percent transition from primary to secondary school initiative by the Government.
In its report, the Ministry of Education indicated that the affirmative action had so far achieved an enrolment rate of 93 percent and efforts have been stepped up to ensure that the 100 percent target is achieved by the February 13th deadline.
The Cabinet revised the admissions deadline to mid-February so as to ensure that the new learners are not left behind in their studies by their already enrolled peers.
To consolidate ongoing efforts towards the 100 percent enrolment, the Cabinet approved the establishment of a subcommittee chaired by Education CS Prof George Magoha that will engage stakeholders including political and religious leaders to ensure that all 2019 KCPE candidates are enrolled in secondary schools.
Today’s Cabinet meeting received a progress report from the Ministry of Agriculture on the ongoing efforts to deal with the desert locust invasion in parts of the country.
While acknowledging the magnitude of the threat posed by the invasion on Kenya’s food security, the Cabinet approved a proposal to engage in government-to-government arrangements with countries that produce fast acting pesticides for quick importation and application in the affected areas.
In recognition of the cross-border nature of the locust invasion, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage and work with regional and multilateral agencies including FAO and IGAD to come up with modalities on how to deal with the threat in the region.
The Cabinet further received a brief from the Ministry of Health on proactive measures being taken to safeguard the country from the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The Cabinet debated and adopted the raft of measures that include screening of passengers before they disembark from the aircraft originating from affected areas. They further directed the Ministries of Health and Transport to institute special measures to manage the movement of those transiting through Kenya from affected regions.
As part of the measures, the Ministry of Health is in constant contact with international health institutions including the CDC and WHO on the global characterization of the outbreak.