Saturday, November 28, 2009
Hellen Tombo and Team finally kicked the Youth Fund Bucket off their mandate and resigned en mass.
Looking at this move I thought OK... Why now that they know their term is coming to an end in three weeks time?
Didn't they spend alot of money using our taxes to fight each other and so why resign when the issues they were arguing about had not been resolved?
Shouldn't they now be arrested for messing up with the PESA za Vijana wa Kenya?
Now that they have done that, so should the other Hellen in the Ministry resign as well so that the mess in the YEDF and the MOYAS be fixed once and for all.
Shouldnt the two Assistant Ministers be sacked as well?
They have all not served the interests of the Young Kenyans but their own.
An opportunity knocks now for the young people of Kenya to put pressure on the Governement to put in place a credible Youth Fund Board that will steer the noble idea to greater height. If we do not do it. We will complain yet again when old folks are appointed to the Board. Its your call.
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
P.O. Box 8799 - 00200
Cell: +254 722619005
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Dear Young Kenyans
While there has been an attempt to have provisions in the draft constitution, recognizing that many of the recommendations as presented by the youth have been taken care of, there still lacks important aspects to enact the meaningful participation of young people who make up over 70% of the total population.
The following recommendations are an attempt to promoting a discussion to ensure the youth are an integral part of the provisions as provided for the in the draft constitution.
In general this draft is the best Kenya has ever had and the National Youth Convention is calling on its constituent members and young people of Kenya in general to support this draft and come out in large numbers to make recommendations for amendments and finally participate in civic education for communities so that Kenya can attain a new constitution.
The recommendations below are for debate and discussion purposes. A final position shall be reached at after the finalization of the youth consultative meetings schedule for 24 locations in all the eight provinces;
The Agenda of Young People in the Constitution
There is a good attempt to include a preamble in the draft however;
The need to recognize, protect and promote our national symbols.
No 10: State and Religion
If the state and religion are separate then there should be no mention of religious institutions in the constitution.
National Values, Principles and Goals should be defined for ease of understanding. They are long statements. This are the things the citizens need to memorize and keep at their minds all the time. The more simple they are the easier it will be to remember them.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
No. 40: YOUTH
1. There is need to include A CLEAR definition of youth from 18 to 35 years.
2. The state shall take legislative and other measures, including but not limited to affirmative action policies and programmes to –
a) Promote the welfare of youth;
b) Ensure representative political participation by youth;
c) Protect the youth from cultural practices that undermine their dignity and quality of life;
d) Establish an independent National Youth Council or Commission to oversee the activities of youth and youth serving organizations for the good welfare of the development of youth;
e) Promote their intellectual abilities by providing the necessary frameworks for career growth
f) Create new opportunities and jobs for the youth
No. 60 Labour Relations
An introduction and definition for minimum wage for all employers to conform to.
Introduce the rights to protection of intellectual property of the youth innovation and creativity.
Part 3 – Human Rights and Gender Commission
A youth representative to the membership of this commission.
The Youth representative shall have professional knowledge and experience of and special responsibility for matters relating to youth
Part 2 – Composition and membership of Parliament
Membership of the senate
To consist of 2 Youth representatives and not clumped in persons with disabilities. The 2 representative shall be a young lady and a young man.
Where women are given the right of affirmative action so should the youth.
Membership of the National Assembly
There should be a provision to consist of
- youth elected one each by the constituencies,
- Youth elected one each by the counties
- Seven Members who shall be youth , no more than four of whom shall be the same gender;
Qualification and disqualifications for elections as a member
(2) Include a A person is disqualified from being elected a member of parliament if that person –
(g) Has been recalled by 50% of the constituents as will be provided for in the recall clause to be legislated by the constitution.
Right to recall
The constitution should make direct provisions on the recall and not abdicate this responsibility to members of parliament. Members of parliament will not legislate how to be recalled. The constitution should set the basic minimums in the recall clause.
Remuneration of Members
Introduce a Clause on the Remuneration of Members of Parliament to be determined by the Salaries and remuneration commission that shall harmonize the salaries with those of other civil servants.
Part 5 – Miscellaneous
Parliamentary Service Commission
(d) A provision should be made for two members to represent the interest of youth as defined by age
Remuneration and benefits of state President and Deputy State President to be determined by the salaries and remuneration commission and harmonized with those of other civil servants. So is the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
Cabinet and Deputy Ministers
Not fewer than fifteen and not more than twenty.
Half of which shall not be MPs and whose composition MUST comprise of qualified Youth in the relevant Ministries responsible for youth affairs.
The Deputy Ministers should be given a semblance of responsibilities as shall be provided for by the public service commission to make them effective.
Part 5 - Budgets
The Constitution should make a provision to guarantee that of the National Budget, 60% shall be Development and 40% for Recurrent expenditure respectively at all levels of government including devolved governments.
Part 7 – Institutions
Salaries and Remuneration Commission
The commission should consist of the persons listed as well as
- One person designated by the National Youth Council/Commission
Economic and Social Council
Among the nine persons
One member shall be designated by the National Youth Council/Commission
The Constitution should determine the membership so that the President does not appoint his cronies as members. While this membership should be vetted by the Parliament.
THE PUBLIC SERVICE
The Constitution shall establish an independent National Youth Council/Commission to manage and control youth development and matters relating to regulation and financing of youth and youth serving agencies in the country.
The Council or commission shall be directly elected by the Youth without the interference of the Legislature.
Police Service Commission
The membership to comprise of one representative from the National Youth Council/Commission
COMMISSIONS AND INDEPENDENT OFFICES
No. 295. (2) The commissions are-
Include: The National Youth Council/Commission
Popular Versions of the Constitution
The Government should make the constitution and translate it into popular language and make copies available to all citizens and every public office in order to popularize the content among Kenyans.
National Symbols: The National Flag
Symbols like the National Flag should be promoted and respected by all the people. The Kenyan citizens should be given the constitutional rights to fly the national flag on their premises, automobiles as long as it does end in abuse. The National Flag should be the pride of all citizens as such it should not be criminal for the people to proudly display the national flag wherever they are.
What's your take?
For National Youth Convention
Monday, November 9, 2009
Title: Senegal: Interview with a farmer
Author: Interview, Isolda Agazzi, Geneva
Category: Economic Justice
African Charter Article# 20: All peoples shall have the right to existence and self determination and the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination.
Summary & Comment: This West African Farmer argues that developed countries will not eliminate export subsidies by 2013, as agreed at the World Trade Organisation's ministerial conference in Hong Kong. And they will not reduce their trade-distorting domestic support either! They will just shift notifications between the amber, blue, and green boxes. DN
"One can't work 18 hours a day and still be poor"
- Isolda Agazzi interviews Babacar Ndao, a West African farmer
Given the billions of dollars and euros that the U.S. and EU spend on trade-distorting support measures and the intractable lobby groups demanding these subsidies, these rich states' promises to reduce such amounts will come to nought. It makes no sense for poor African states to allow these goods to flood their markets. This is the view of Babacar Ndao, a farmer from Senegal and a member of the West African Network of Farmers' Organisations and Agricultural Producers, known by its French acronym ROPPA. He was in Geneva recently at the invitation of Our World Is Not For Sale's agriculture working group.
Our World Is Not For Sale is a loose grouping of non-governmental organisations, activists and social movements "fighting the current model of corporate globalisation embodied in the global trading system". Like the other invited farmers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, Ndao is critical of the text presented in December 2008 by Ambassador Crawford Falconer which still constitutes the basis of the Doha Round talks on agriculture. Ndao argues that developed countries will not eliminate export subsidies by 2013, as agreed at the World Trade Organisation's ministerial conference in Hong Kong. Neither will they reduce their trade-distorting domestic support. Instead, they have become skilful in shifting notifications between the so-called amber, blue and green boxes.
- The "amber box" contains all domestic support measures considered to distort production and trade and for which only minimal ("de minimis") supports are allowed.
- The "blue box" is like the amber box but with conditions attached that are designed to reduce distortion. At present it has no limits on spending.
- The "green box" contains subsidies that don't distort trade, or at most cause minimal distortion.
Isolda Agazzi interviewed a disillusioned Ndao for whom these boxes are nothing but Russian dolls with which rich countries hide their trade-distorting practices.
IPS: What do you expect from the Doha Round?
Babacar Ndao (BN): The text is not satisfactory because the protection of agricultural goods is weak. Rich countries, like the European Union and the U.S., will never be able to respect their commitments to reduce subsidies and will just shift support between boxes. The support of product-specific de minimis, such as subsidies for food and bio fuels, has not been taken into consideration by the chair of the agricultural committee (currently ambassador David Walker from New Zealand). According to the de minimis clause, developed countries are allowed to exclude five percent of product-specific and nonproduct-specific support from the amber box while developing countries can exclude 10 percent of the same.
The U.S. will never be able to meet its offer to reduce by 70 percent its overall trade-distorting domestic support. This support was at 28 billion dollars in 2007 but only 8,5 billions were notified by Washington at the WTO. As for the EU that is supposed to cut its overall trade-distorting domestic support by 80 percent, its subsidies amounted to 72,9 billion euros in 2005 but Brussels notified only 42,1 billions. The gap between the notified subsidies and the real ones is huge, particularly for the EU, which has inscribed its single farm payment regime of 14,7 billion euros in the green box. (The single farm payment, introduced by the EU in the 2003 Common Agricultural Policy, separates the aid received by farmers from the amount of production.)
But, in March 2005, the WTO appellate body in the cotton case presented by Brazil had ruled that the fixed payments by the U.S. cannot be put into the green box because farmers don't have the right to use those payments to produce fruit and vegetables. In the EU they are not allowed to use this money to produce fruits, vegetables, milk, sugar (a production quota runs until 2015) and wine, and there are ceilings on cotton and tobacco. This all shows that the US and the EU will never be able to respect their offers. We are asked to open up our markets, but the protection we are granted in return is very weak.
IPS: Do you have another example?
BN: Yes, cotton. The December text has calculated that internal subsidies to cotton must be reduced to 42 million dollars per year in the U.S.. But subsidies for exported cotton, only, were already 2, 2 billion dollars! This problem is without a solution. And if cotton is not solved, then it doesn't make any sense for us to conclude the Doha Round. We met with senior representatives of the Cotton Four countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad) and found that cotton is more of a priority for them because they speak in the name of the 36 African cotton-exporting countries.
The Doha Round will strengthen the power of multinational corporations. Regulating the market and managing supply is very important, but the current WTO rules go in the opposite direction. Many economists recognise that the food crisis was generated by the policies dictated by the WTO. If you produce a lot, then prices drop. If you don't produce enough, then your market is invaded with subsidised products.
IPS: But the Doha Round foresees important steps, like the elimination of
export subsidies by 2013.
BN: It is a bluff! Developed countries will not be able to eliminate export subsidies and to reduce domestic trade-distorting ones. Even if they allowed developing countries to maintain tariffs on special products - which would represent 20 percent of tariff lines - it will never compensate for the losses generated by cutting tariffs. And currently tariffs are already so low that, whatever the special products, they will never compensate for the difference.
IPS: Are your concerns shared by the governmental delegations you met in
BN: We have the same point of view as African governments. The Agriculture Agreement (the current WTO agreement that the Doha Round is supposed to reform in a more development-balanced way) has to be fully revised and we must be allowed tariffs to protect our markets. One example is ECOWAS (the Economic Community of Western African States). We want to protect our regional market to make food sovereignty a reality. But to do so, we need three measures:
- revision of the Agriculture Agreement;
- a solution to price volatility by managing supply; and
- creating rules for global competition.
One can no longer ignore the exaggerated market power of multinational corporations. American cotton producers, who generally vote for the Democrats, will not accept the reductions in subsidies. The EU says that it may be attacked by parliament if it touches the subsidies on cream and milk. Since lowering these subsidies becomes impossible, then they should not push for poor countries to lower theirs and have their markets flooded with subsidised imports.
IPS: So, do you want to take agriculture out of the WTO?
BN: What we want are fair competition rules. If one takes agriculture out of the WTO, then there still need to be rules somewhere. It is not ideological, even though liberalism has shown its limits. It's not about being leftist or rightist. Some 65 percent of ECOWAS's population – 270 million people - live on agriculture. In the EU, it is only 2,8 percent of the population. ROPPA asks for fair rules for competition. The farmers' organisations from all continents ask for the same, be it within or outside the WTO. One cannot work 18 hours a day and still be poor.
IPS: But can you really put all developing countries in the same basket?
The Doha Round foresees flexibilities and least developed countries
won't have to cut any tariffs.
BN: ROPPA is a sub-regional organisation that fights for all farmers and fishers in West Africa. In the ECOWAS, we want to build our own regional market with trade preferences, like others have done. We have three non-LDCs in West Africa (Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria). If a country's market is invaded (because of low tariffs) by subsidised products, all the region will be invaded at the same time because we have a common external tariff.
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Saturday, November 7, 2009
TALKING NOTES DURING THE KCDF YOUTH CONVENTION ON CONSTITUTIONALISM AND GOOD GOVERNANCE BY EMMANUEL DENNIS – NATIONAL YOUTH CONVENTION 2ND NOVEMBER 2009 AT THE KCDF YOUTH CONVENTION - NAKURU
· Historical perspective of the Kenyan constitution making process from the
o Lancaster talks
o the emergence in 1990's for a new constitution
o the referendum
o NARC promises
o Committee of Experts
o Draft Constitution coming up soon.
· The Constitution as governance framework of the country.
· Constitution making process to be all inclusive.
Issues presented by the Youth to the CoE
· A democratic constitution by the people for peaceful and prosperous Kenya.
· A youth friendly constitution.
· Lack f a preamble which is the statement of purpose expressing our values as a nation.
Areas of Consensus
· Dual citizenship for Kenyans who want it.
· Devolution of power and responsibility with units of devolution and resources to be clarified in the new constitution.
· A recall clause to be included for Non performing MPs in order to bring about accountability.
· Removal of the presidential age limit at 35 years and make qualification to be based on ethical and moral standing.
· President not to be a Member of Parliament
· President's remuneration to be decided by an independent body like the salaries and remuneration commission.
· Cabinet to be made of professional outside parliament, recruited by an independent body, approved by parliament and appointed by the president.
· The number of cabinet Ministers not to exceed 15 for efficiency and control of spending.
· Legislative representation to comprise of 30% Women, 50% Youth, and 20% Minorities.
· MPs salaries to be harmonized with those of other civil servants
· Independent candidates to be allowed to vie out of the Political party system.
· A Limited tenure of MPs to be put at 2 terms of 5 years each.
· The office of the AG to be separated from the office of Director of public prosecutions.
· AG and CJ to be recruited by and independent body, vetted by Parliament and appointed by the president.
The Bill of rights
· To include all the inalienable rights and freedoms of all Kenyans which are to be clearly spelt out.
· Land to be communally owned.
· Leasehold period to be reduced from 999 years to 99 years.
· Introduce taxes for land ownership.
· No land to be allowed to lay idle.
· System of governance (Presidential, Parliamentary, Hybrid)
· Presidential age cap and education.
· Devolution Regional, Economic)
· Kenya currently has an imperial presidency which perpetuates impunity. Power holders have the leverage of hiding behind the constitution to break it at the expense of rights holders.
· There is no ownership of the current constitution because it was brought from Lancaster.
· The President, Police, MPs are all breaking the la and getting away with it due to the system that has been created.
· What do we do to promote and protect our cultural diversity?
· What kind of country do we want for the future generations?
· Are we in a better position today?
· Do we need to change?
· What is your individual responsibility in ensuring that something positive is done?
· Will Kenya change to the better with a new constitution?
· What kind of country did we inherit from our fore fathers?
· What should we do?
1. Young people should now drive the constitution review process by engaging in the civic education management at community level.
2. The constitution should be written for the common good of Mwananchi.
3. The constitution should carry a culture of values that will drive Kenya for generations.
4. All Kenyans must engage in the process of finding out what their new constitution entails.
5. The youth should start holding similar meetings at community level to educate other Kenyans.
6. The youth need to take control of the process before Politicians do so that their peers, parents and leaders are aware of the facts.
· 170 town hall meetings, 1 date country wide will help push the agenda.
Questions and Answers????????
One Man one Vote system????
"We have wasted so many resources in the past on the quest for anew constitution. The onus is on us as a generation. Sometimes it calls upon a generation to be great. You can be that generation"
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
P.O. Box 8799 - 00200
Cell: +254 722619005