UK Department for International Development (DfID) Country Head, Julius Court, was among the attendees on the first day of the AidEx Nairobi conference yesterday.
Launched in 2014, AidEx is a two-day high-profile conference attracting over 500 Aid and Development professionals from East Africa and beyond.
The theme of the 2019 conference is “The importance of inclusiveness to regional progress – is the aid and development sector doing enough?”
Speaking at the event, Mr Court said he wanted to focus on Inclusion, Impact and Innovation.
“Disability Inclusion is an issue that highlights some of the key principles of success for inclusive development,” he told the conference.
“Through DfID support, we are helping over 3,500 people in Kenya with disabilities to attain the education, skills and job opportunities,” he added.
“Through Catalytic Jobs Fund,” he told attendees, “we are testing innovations that can create large scale jobs for Kenya’s young people, particularly those working in the informal sector.”
As Mr Court continued his address, he discussed the Youth Advisory Panel which was established to look at the level of involvement of young people in strategic work, programme development and communications.
The DfID Head described this as “an integral move considering 70 percent of Kenyans are under 30.”
He went on to add that “Innovation has the potential to really revolutionise the lives of the poor, unlock development & prosperity accelerating progress towards the Global Goals.”
Moving on to financial inclusion, Mr Court said M-Pesa was “perhaps the best example … where £1 million of UK support has grown into the most successful mobile phone financial service.”