Nairobi, 12th of April 2022 – The Ambassador of Italy to Kenya, Alberto Pieri, and UN Women Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Dr. Maxime Houinato, signed this morning the Agreement to officially kick-start the third phase of the project “Let it not happen again: Enhancing Prevention and Response to Violence Against Women in Elections”. The event counted on the presence of Mr. Giovanni Grandi, Head of Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Nairobi, Ms. Anna Mutavati, UN WOMEN Country Representative for Kenya, representatives from the Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs & Special Programmes, representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR), from the National Police Service and from the civil society.

With this new phase the overall initiative is worth a commitment of more than 1 million USD from the Government of Italy, which has greatly contributed to strengthen the response and accountability mechanisms with regards to gender-based violence (GBV) in sensitive periods such as the elections and the COVID pandemic in the counties of Nairobi, Kisumu, Bungoma and Vihiga.

As Ambassador Pieri said, “the strategic partnership between the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics), UN WOMEN and OHCHR ensures on one hand the reinforcement of the capacities of key public institutions and on the other hand the empowerment of civil society organizations and human rights defenders’ associations in their advocacy efforts towards duty bearers”.

According to Dr Houinato, “In Kenya, electoral violence has been predominant since the introduction of multi-party democracy in the early 1990s. The “Let it Not Happen Again” project will address persisting challenges that hinder access to justice for survivors, building on the previous implementation.”

The Government of Italy is one of UN WOMEN’s top donors and stands with Kenya in the fight and prevention of gender-based violence: the promotion of gender equality is a priority and transversal theme for the action of the Italian Cooperation in Kenya.

Brief background info
“Let it not happen again: Enhancing Prevention and Response to Violence Against Women in Elections” is financed by the Government of Italy and represents the third phase of the "Let It Not Happen Again" initiative. The first two phases were focused on improving the access to justice for victims of GBV and in particular during electoral periods, while strengthening the institutional mechanisms for prevention and response. Concurrently, the initiative has intervened to strengthen civil society organizations engaged in human rights defense.
Among key results achieved during the first two phases (2019 – 2021) are the establishment of the first Gender Directorate at the National Police Service; the enhancement of the capacities of 484 professionals in the sectors of justice, security and health in the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and the improved access of survivors to essential services, with 930 SGBV survivors accessing medical-legal services.

>Download the joint press release


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Kenya – Eni and AICS Nairobi sign a Memorandum to develop joint initiatives

Nairobi (Kenya), 22nd July 2021 – Eni, through its subsidiary Eni Kenya, and the Nairobi Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) signed today, at the presence of the Ambassador of Italy to Kenya Alberto Pieri, a Memorandum of Understanding to identify possible collaboration opportunities in the areas of agriculture and value-chain development, environment, health, vocational training and education, and access to energy/green energy and innovation. The document was signed by the Eni Kenya Managing Director Enrico Tavolini and the AICS Nairobi Head of Office Fabio Melloni.

The four-year agreement promotes and strengthens the Italian system abroad and fits in Eni’s and AICS’ strategy to leverage public-private partnerships, which the United Nations indicate as a key tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. Also, this agreement is in line with the Italian law on cooperation 125/2014 which recognizes the contribution of the private sector in defining and implementing sustainable development projects.

The agreement will allow Eni Kenya and Aics in Kenya to identify and develop future collaboration projects, in accordance with the Government of Kenya’s strategic objectives for social development and in line with their respective actions in the Country.

Eni has been present in Kenya since 2013 with offshore Oil & Gas exploration activities in the Lamu Basin, and with industrial models of fully-integrated circular economy along the bio-fuel production value chain. Also, Eni Kenya contributes to the local development initiatives of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) in the key sectors of education, health, and water & sanitation.

The AICS Nairobi Office has a long-standing experience in the Country and a large network with other Cooperation Agencies, Civil Society Organizations as well as Organizations of the United Nations System. Moreover, Kenya is a strategic Country for the Italy and its Cooperation Agency since the late 90’s, where it has consolidated its traditional areas of intervention such as agriculture and irrigation, WASH, territorial and human development, especially health, education and private sector.

> Press release ENG (*pdf)
> Photos (*jpeg)


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Uganda – Signed the agreement for the Karamoja Infrastructure Development Project (KIDP II)

Kampala (Uganda) – The Ambassador of Italy to Uganda, H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti and the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija signed on August 19, 2021, at the Ministry of Finance, the agreement for the Italian contribution to the second phase of the Karamoja Infrastructure Development Project (KIDP II). The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Health Hon. dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Karamoja's Minister of State for Affairs,Hon. Agnes Nandutu, and the Ambassador of the European Union to Uganda, H.E. Attilio Pacifici.

In the Karamoja region, which has the highest poverty rate in Uganda, 70% of families have inadequate access to health facilities. This is due to the lack of adequate infrastructures (limited number or inadequate hospitals in the area) and human resources, and due to the limited training of the medical and health personnel employed.

In past years, with the contribution of the Italian Government and the technical support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics), the Ugandan Government was able to build accommodation in every district of Karamoja for medical personnel working in the most remote areas of the region. Through the KIDP II, with a soft-loan of ten million euros from the Italian government and a 2 million euros contribution from the Ugandan government, the Government, with the technical support of the AICS, will be able to build and equip new hospitals, as well as to expand and modernize the departments of existing structures, and train medical staff. Once the implementation activities will start in the coming months, the initiative will last three years.

When signing, Ambassador Mazzanti underlined the importance of the agreement by noting that it will further strengthen the relations between Italy and Uganda; two Countries which have common ties since before independence.

In thanking Italy for its continued support and partnership, Hon. Kasaija expressed the importance to find a lasting solutions for peace and security in the Karamoja region, this in order to give impetus to development iniatives that have been funded so far - mainly in the fields of education and health.

This initiative, is aligned with the ongoing efforts of the AICS Regional Office in Nairobi to support local health systems within the Region which, in such extraordinary circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing increasing difficulties in providing a more effective and timely assistance.


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Kenya – Strengthening the rapid alert system and environmental risk management in Africa: an Italian-led and financed program in collaboration with international partners

Nairobi, 27 October 2021 - The President of the Republic of Kenya H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta inaugurated the first regional Situation Room of the Disaster Operations Center at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Ngong Town). The Room was setup by the CIMA Foundation as part of the multi-year program entitled "Establishment of the Impact-based Early Warning for Early Action and Trans-boundary Risk management function of the African Union”. The programme is coordinated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in collaboration with the African Union (AU), and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. Through this programme will be established a system monitoring and predicting the evolution of different hazards in the region denominated on an area of ​​5.2 million square km which includes eight countries of the Great Horn of Africa Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

The room will provide fundamental information for managing the risk of disasters to the other centers that will be established at the African Union, the African Center for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), the meteorological and climatological centers at the Regional Economic Communities, and in the African Union Member Staes. All the rooms will be part of a system be connected through the myDewetra online platform developed through a multi-year collaboration between the Department of the Italian Civil Protection and the CIMA Foundation.

The activities planned in the first year of the programme include the creation of two additional situation rooms that will be inaugurated shortly:

- the Continental Situation Room at the headquarters of the Africa Union Commission in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), with the main function of informing the bodies of the African Union on potentially critical situations at the continental level;

- the ACMAD Multi-Hazard Advisory Center in Niamey (Niger), assigned to continental meteorological surveillance.

The three rooms, connected through the Italian platform "myDEWETRA", will be able to deliver forecast bulletins and emergency reports, such as the "Continental Watch" and the "Situation Report", which have already been rolled out after a testing phase. The Continental Watch was also presented as a "live demo" (sending the bulletin through a dedicated Telegram channel) on 13 October at the Dubai Expo during the "Spotlight on Africa DRR" Conference organized by Africa Union on the occasion of the International Day of Risk reduction (DRR Day).

This complex transnational warning and monitoring system for environmental risk, based on the Italian excellences in the field, is fundamental for a continent like Africa hit by frequent and serious disasters that have had very serious consequences on populations at economic, health, and food safety level. All that was possible thanks to the support of the Italian government, in partnership with the European Union, the Swedish government and the "Risk and Early Warning Systems -CREWS" initiative in synergy with UNDRR and other involved United Nations agencies and institutions in Africa, such as the AU and IGAD. It is the proof that only through close cooperation can lasting and effective results be obtained in the long term.


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E4Impact, a business incubator with a “triple helix” engine

Nairobi - On 21 February 2018, at the AICS Nairobi office, a press conference was held to present the call for particiaption to the E4Impact business incubator. The event was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Kenya Mauro Massoni, Head of the AICS Nairobi Office Teresa Savanella, the manager of E4Impact for East Africa David Cheboryot and the marketing director of the Standard Media Group Doreen Mbaya.

The incubator, co-funded by the Agency and implemented by the Università cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and by the E4Impact - Nairobi Foundation is a business incubator and accelerator aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in Kenya, thus creating employment opportunities for young people and to foistering the internationalization of new businesses. The incubator will provide start-up and scaling-up support to the selected best ideas or companies, giving particular attention to women employment and activities with high socio-environmental impact.

Ms. Savanella underlined how such initiatives, which link public, private and research actors, can be of great support for those who, despite having a potentially creative and attractive entrepreneurial idea, can not find opportunities to develop their own project.

The deadline for the applications submission is set for March 23, 2018. By 30 April 2018 will be selected the best 20 projects ideas that will take advantage of the services of the accelerator.

The incubator represents an implementation of the so-called "triple helix approach" that links that relates the three main actors involved in innovative processes - universities/research institutions, entreprises and institutions - to the new concept of development defined by the 2030 Agenda that gives a fundamental role to the private sector and to the growth of a local entrepreneurial class. In this perspective, two public entities are partners of the initiative - the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Micro Enterprise Support Program Trust (MESPT) belonging to the Ministry of Industry - and two private actors - the Tangaza University College (TUC) and the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

Among its services, the incubator will provide to participants market analysis, and place the entreprises within a network of national and international contacts, in particular Italian ones, for future investments and operational partnerships.


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Foto: @E4Impact via Twitter


“Kilimo Ni Swag”, agriculture is cool and can offer opportunities for the youngest

Kiambu – On 24 March 2018 the was officially launched the Reducing the adverse drivers of migration through local value chain development, a rural development project funded by the Agency with 1.5 million euro and implemented by the FAO in collaboration with the Kiambu County Government. The launch was attended by the Kiambu County Governor, Ferdinand Waititu, the Italian ambassador, Mauro Massoni, the AICS Nairobi Head of Office, Teresa Savanella, and the FAO representative in Kenya, Gabriel Rugalema.

The project aims to address the root causes of the emigration to Nairobi of young people coming from Kiambu County, a peri-urban area with a vibrant agricultural sector. Through support activities for entrepreneurship and development of value chains in agriculture, the project will contribute to job creation and will promote supply chain innovation, involving about 4.000 people. The intervention will strengthen the network of small and medium-sized enterprises and foster market-oriented production by developing those skills needed to transform products and promoting added value.

Un'attenzione particolare sarà rivolta ai giovani e alle donne, favorendo l’inclusione delle fasce più deboli attraverso opportunità d’impiego in loco e la crescita di attività imprenditoriali già esistenti nel settore. L’intervento, dunque, si allinea con due delle aree prioritarie della Big Four Agenda del presidente Kenyatta: la creazione opportunità di lavoro per i giovani e il miglioramento della sicurezza alimentare nel Paese.

Focus will be given to young people and women, fostering inclusion through employment opportunities in Kiambu, and growth of entrepreneurial activities already operating in the sector. The project activities are aligned with two of the priority areas of President Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda: job creation for young people and food security increase in the Country.

Nel sottolineare l’importanza di un progetto nato da una proposta delle autorità locali in risposta a un problema concreto, l’ambasciatore Massoni ha evidenziato come l’Italia costituisca un partner strategico per il Kenya, "un partner amico, che non impone idee e soluzioni, ma che collabora e accompagna le istituzioni in un viaggio comune per lo sviluppo e la trasformazione del Paese. Il successo di questo progetto – ha poi aggiunto – potrà cambiare il paradigma e aprire la strada a collaborazioni future, su simili progetti, con il coinvolgimento delle OSC italiane, del settore pubblico e di quello privato, sia italiano che keniota."

In underlining the importance of this project, coming from a proposal by local authorities in response to a real issue, Ambassador Massoni highlighted how Italy is a strategic partner for Kenya, "a friendly partner, who does not impose ideas and solutions, but that collaborates and accompanies the institutions in a common journey for development and transformation of the Country. The success of this project - he added - will change the paradigm and open the way for future collaborations on similar projects, with the involvement of the Italian CSOs, and public and private sector - both Italian and Kenyan."

Following Swahili's motto "Kilimo Ni Swag" - agriculture is cool - all the actors involved have affirmed their commitment to transform agriculture into an interesting and attractive activity for young people, thus reducing migration of young people due to economic or social fragility.


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A common goal for the cooperation system’s actors, stories from the Italian NGOs

Nairobi - On 4 June 2018, during the celebration of the Italian National Day at the residence of the Ambassador of Italy, was officially presented the book "Nia moja, One aim, Una meta - Experiences of Italian NGOs in Kenya". At the presentation, in a dedicated stand reserved to the Italian NGOs operating in the Country, attended the Italian Ambassador Mauro Massoni, the Head of the AICS Nairobi Office Teresa Savanella, representatives of the involved NGOs, and national and local government authorities.

The guests had the opportunity to interact with the representatives of the Italian NGOs at the stand, to read the book, to learn more about the activities promoted by the Italian Cooperation actors, and visit a photographic exhibition on the most significant activities of the organizations listed in the book.

The book, published thanks to the contribution of the AICS office in Nairobi and born within the regular meetings between the Civil Society Organizations, the Agency and the Embassy, was the outcome of a common desire to create a book that would collect and tell the activities of support and development carried out by the CSOs operating in Kenya. The title itself intends to underline the programmatic objective of a "common goal" through the translation of the same word into three different but closely linked languages: Swahili, English, Italian .

With the prefaces by Ambassador Massoni and Ms. Savanella, the book tells more about the experiences of Italian organizations in Kenya and the activities carried out through infographics on the areas of intervention and funding, as well as summaries on 30 Italian NGOs.

The support for this publication by AICS Nairobi is part of the activities carried out within the "Inclusive Development Partnership" initiative and in the implementation of the guidelines set by the Law 125/2014 , aimed at promoting synergies and partnerships between different actors working in a plural and efficient cooperation system.

• Nia Moja - One aim - Una meta


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Health at school, effective interventions to improve learning environments and a partnership that works

Kiserian - On 30 May 2018 a public event was hosted at the Kiserian Primary School to celebrate the achievements under the Kenya Comprehensive School Health Program, an initiative in the educational and health sectors co-financed by the Agency for an amount of 700,000 Euros and implemented by World Friends.

Together with the students, the event was attended by representatives of the Health and Education departments of Kajiado County, teachers and members of the beneficiary schools' councils, the Head of AICS Nairobi Teresa Savanella, operators of World Friends and representatives of the local partner organization Jukumu Letu .

The project, launched in 2015 and aimed at supporting Kenya Comprehensive School Health Policy implementation, has seen interventions in the educational, agricultural and health fields through activities to raise awareness on issues linkled to health, nutrition, hygiene, safety and environment. Additionally, activities included the construction of kitchens and toilets and the provision of water tanks and pumps in five schools in the County.

In his remarks, Ms. Savanella hoped that this model of partnership between public institutions, Italian organizations and local partners - that has been reaffirmed and consolidated during the project - can be replicated in other contexts to improve the effectiveness and to maximize the impact public resources dedicated to development. The collaboration between the actors involved in the project activities has proven to be particularly effective and has led to the development of several good practices that could be applied in implementing the Kenya Comprehensive School Health Policy.

Thanks to synergies between the different entities involved and solid relationships with local communities - key elements to promote conducive and sustainable conditions - it was possible to support the County in reaching the goals set by the Government  on health and in providing at the same time better services and safe learning environments for Kajiado teachers and pupils.


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The triple helix of the development lights up: ready to go the first 20 ideas selected by the E4Impact incubator

Nairobi - Twenty business ideas will benefit from the services of the E4Impact business incubator, a project proposed by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, co-funded by the Agency and implemented by the Nairobi headquarters of the E4Impact Foundation. E4Impact is a business incubator (start-up) and accelerator (scaling-up) aimed at promoting entrepreneurship - particularly focused on women involvment and  high social/environmental impact activities - thus creating opportunities for youth employment and stimulating the internationalization of new businesses.

This business incubator represents an implementation of the so-called "triple helix" approach that links the three main actors involved in innovative processes - universities/research institutions, entreprises and institutions - to the new concept of development defined by the 2030 Agenda that gives a fundamental role to the private sector and to the growth of a local entrepreneurial class. In this perspective, two public entities are partners of the initiative - the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Micro Enterprise Support Program Trust (MESPT) belonging to the Ministry of Industry - and two private actors - the Tangaza University College (TUC) and the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

The presentation ceremony, on June 13th, was attended by  the Italian Ambassador in Kenya Mauro Massoni, the Head of office of AICS Nairobi Teresa Savanella, the Principal Secretary for the Vocational and Technical Training Kevit Desai, the CEO of the E4Impact Foundation Mario Molteni, and the E4Impact manager for East Africa David Cheboryot.

The business ideas, mainly operating in sectors of excellence of Italian companies such as agro-food, leather goods, and fashion, were selected among 250 applications through a competitive process that took into account elements such as the business model, the human capital, the potential impact of the accelerator's contribution, and potential opportunities for future investments. As a demonstration of the high participation by the local and the Italian civil society, several of the selected companies focus on local communities, through a participatory approach aimed at involving people and encouraging the development within the same community group.

Ambassador Massoni recalled that the reason why the incubator focuses on the areas of Italy's excellences is given by the willingness to share, with Kenyan companies, those mistakes and those successes that put the Italian companies at the level are known for today globally

Teresa Savanella stressed how, in line with the laws directing the Italian Cooperation, is envisaged the search for opportunities for collaboration with various development actors such as civil society, universities and the private sector - particularly social entreprises. Furthermore, she wished that the project could produce a favorable learning environment also thanks to the possibility for the Italian private sector to provide its know-how in support of the creation of decent jobs.

During the implementation phase, local start-ups will be connected with Italian companies operating in similar sectors in order to ensure the learning of business models, and to share the best practices that can be applied in Kenya. In addition, the entreprises will have access to funds to develop their business ideas, and will access to professional consulting services in marketing, legal assistance, and accounting. Throughout the incubation process, the entreprises will be able to take advantage of the incubator facilities, as well as to receive international and local coaching and tutoring.

Among the ideas in is worth to mention the social incubator Jikaze Utafulu - committ yourself and you will be successful, presented by the Italian NGO SVI through the project No one out!. The project focuses on fighting against crime, prostitution and drug use through microfinance programs that allow the strengthening of existing companies and the provision of scholarships for those in need.


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The Italian Ambassador and UN Women Acting Country Director sign the agreement for the Italian contribution to “Let it not happen again” project

NAIROBI, KENYA – On 27 June 2019, the Ambassador of Italy to Kenya H.E. Alberto Pieri and the UN Women Acting Country Director Mrs. Cecile Mukarubuga signed the agreement for the Italian contribution to the Let It Not Happen Again - Addressing prevention and accountability on Violence Against Women in Elections (VAWiE) project. The signing ceremony was hosted at the Italian Ambassador’s Residence and was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, UN Women and OHCHR, Civil Society Organizations and representatives of the Survivors of sexual Violence organizations.

The initiative is part of the ongoing Joint Program on Gender Based Violence between the Government of Kenya and the United Nations. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation contributes with 300.000 Euros to support specific activities aimed at strengthening the response and accountability mechanisms against Gender Based Violence to be better prepared for future elections. Activities will be implemented by UN Women and OHCHR in close collaboration with associations of rights holders and with duty bearers (police, judiciary, and health services) in four Counties (Nairobi, Kisumu, Bungoma and Migori), and will promote peer-learning process and good practices in Kenya.

At the occasion of the signing ceremony, Ambassador Pieri, commending the fruitful and longstanding partnerships with the United Nations system, emphasized Italy’s strong commitment towards gender equity championing against Gender Based Violence at global level and particularly in Africa. A commitment to equality that requires transformative action, to improve social norms as result of actions taken at local, national and international level. To this end Civil Society organizations play a crucial role in raising awareness and providing protection.

In thanking the Italian Embassy to Kenya and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation for the commitment to ending violence against women and girls in Kenya, Mrs. Mukarubuga noted that “Let it Not Happen again” is a reminder to each and every one of us of our individual and collective responsibility to protect women and girls against violence before, during and after elections. This through a multi sectoral approach that will contribute to addressing the present situation and allow women and girls to exercise their rights as equal citizens.

> Press release ENG (*pdf)


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