Embrace, leverage UN office
In the past few weeks, Nairobi has hosted high-profile guests, including the Japanese Prime Minister, IMF managing director and Canada’s Foreign minister. Nairobi is the only capital in the Global South to host United Nations offices—the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1972 and UN Habitat since 1975. Because of the Habitat headquarters, the second session of the UN Habitat Assembly (UNHA II) will be held in Nairobi from June 5-9. The big delegations and conferences are part of efforts to diversify our tourism earnings beyond the traditional attractions like wildlife and beaches. The capital city has won approval to host the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The self-financing entity’s Africa regional office was, for a long time, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, which hosts the global headquarters. It has country offices in Kenya and other African countries. The UNOPS Africa offices has been coordinating projects in the crisis-hit countries and those recovering from war or conflicts in the continent. As a project implementer for other UN agencies, UNOPS provides the necessary infrastructure and logistical support especially on programmes and projects aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), valued at more than $3 billion annually. The UNOPS to Nairobi, set to be up and running this year, is expected to enhance the World Bank’s support to its African partners. The office will enable African countries to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change in response to peace and security, humanitarian and development challenges. The relocation of UNOPS to Nairobi is an affirmation of Kenya’s role in the achievement of the SDGs in Africa. Stakeholders should use this opportunity to leverage and tap more developments and employment opportunities for Kenya and its people.