The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with International Alert launched the Policy Brief Report that outlines the role of private sector actors in peace and conflict dynamics in Kenya and Somalia.
The brief, dubbed ‘Mobilising the Private Sector for Peace’ is based on a Peace and Conflict Analysis (PCA) conducted in Kenya and Somalia and is intended as a contribution to the development of policy and peace building strategies involving the private sector in the Horn of Africa.
Speaking during the launch at Heron Portico hotel in Nairobi, International Alert Country Director Rabindra Gurung, said the organisation works towards promoting peace in the country by working together with people from all walks of life to build sustainable and inclusive peace.
“We have been working continuously together with the private sector in different settings and contexts to help them understand the importance of their role in peace and facilitate them to coordinate and contribute in the peace making,” said Gurung.
He added that the organisation is working to support the conflict sensitive Human Rights two tips toolkit which have been used by many private sectors as they remain in business.
Somalia Deputy Head of Mission Ms Laurie Visser from the government of Netherlands, said that the embassy is looking for ways on how it can engage the private sector, public sector together with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to come together for similar goals, support stability, and contribute to peace, equitable growth, and development.
She revealed that 21 percent of the European Union investments in the private sector in Somalia come from the Netherlands, adding that there are a lot of opportunities in Somalia if one is willing to invest.
KEPSA led Mkenya Daima Initiative Chairperson Dr Vimal Shah, said that Mkenya Daima was inspired by the private sector and its main aim is to promote peace. “Going forward I would like all the stakeholders to engage and be part of the Mkenya Daima initiative to promote peace,” he reiterated.
Shah urged Kenyans to take responsibility for their country as it has three pillars including a political pillar which focuses on governance and leadership.
He added that the country also has the economic pillar that focuses on manifestos in competing globally and the social pillar whose focus is on peaceful elections.
The brief report, which is also understood as a contribution to understanding the role of the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected settings, shows that businesses, business people, and associations have directly participated in the negotiation of agreements among parties engaged in violent conflict with one another.
By Mary Ndegwa and Hannah Njoki