Nairobi, June 18th, 2022 - To foster greater commitment to peaceful elections, and increase youth participation in the 2022 General Elections and beyond, the UWIANO Platform for Peace members have today, on the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, launched the Let Peace Win campaign.
Recognizing the need for smart interventions to counter the evolving trends of online hate speech, UWIANO has established a Peace Messaging Hub which expanded membership to leading peacebuilding stakeholders as well as a cutting-edge technological consortium to connect UWIANO's online and offline analysis with appropriate responses. With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), has access to cutting-edge technological tools and expertise to monitor and analyze social media platforms for mis/disinformation, hate speech and incitement. This analysis is accompanied by a complementary artificial intelligence intervention to identify and recruit micro and nano influencers to counter hate speech and spread impactful narratives of peace.
Speaking ahead of the launch, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr. Fred Matiang'i, EGH commended efforts by various institutions in ensuring Kenya remains a united nation. He said, "Kenya has finally come of age in matters of democracy, and we are confident of the measures we have put in place to ensure that peace reigns during the coming August polls."
Youth account for 75% of the country's total population. Hence their participation in the election and election process determines how Kenya meets its immediate, medium, and long-term development aspirations as envisaged in Vision 2030. During the launch, the UWIANO Platform for Peace members called on the youth to construct steady and peaceful societies and develop policies that respond to the specific needs of the younger generation to achieve SDG 16 of the 2030 agenda, 'Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.'
"To turn around Kenya towards becoming a peaceful country we require efforts that not only target the young people, but also those initiated by the youth for the young people. Effective participation of youth in politics is fundamental to democratic development both in Kenya and generally around the globe. Therefore, initiatives targeting the youth such as the Let Peace Win and Elections Bila Noma campaigns are critical to promoting peace, and safeguarding development gains and stability," said Dr. Rev Samuel Kobia, the NCIC Chairman.
Through the Let Peace Win Campaign, youth-led initiatives promoting peace will be recognised. A song for peace contest has also been kicked off on Radio Citizen and Citizen TV, where youth are invited to submit their peace songs. The best voted songs will be used before, during and after the elections to promote peace.
During the launch, UNDP Kenya's Resident Representative ad interim Mandisa Mashologu said: "Our support to this campaign through our Transcending Foundations of Peace and Security for Inclusive and Sustainable Development Programme andConsolidating Democratic Dividends for Sustainable Transformation Programme is meant to ensure that no one is left behind, particularly the youth. We as UNDP in collaboration with our sister agencies -- UN Women and OHCHR -- will continue working closely with all our partners to support the consolidation of the democratic gains to ensure that the country's youth - and all citizens at large are the transformative force and beacon of peace in this journey towards Kenya's Vision2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa's Agenda 2063. We thank our respective development partners - the Government of Sweden through the Embassy of Sweden in Kenya, the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Irish Aid, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom for this collaboration to more effectively engage with civil society organisations, faith-based organizations, community groups and associations, and the national and county level peace architecture through the UWIANO platform.''
Marking this historical milestone of the International Day for Countering Hate speech and the launch of the "Let Peace Win" campaign, the UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Stephen Jackson said: "Elections are all about expressing your preferences. The UN has only ONE preference, one favourite: We want Kenya to win! We know Kenya will win by sustaining its remarkable & peaceful democratic leadership in the region. We want the Kenyan youth to lead Kenya's peaceful journey before, during and beyond the elections." He made a special appeal to the youth, "You have skin in this game - even if you do not feel it! Kenya is your house, so keep your house safe and take control of your future by preventing hate and harm from coming indoors."
For media enquiries please contact:
Head of Communications, UNDP Kenya
Communications Associate, UNDP Kenya
Olive C Metet, MPRSK
Head of Communication, NCIC
Mary Ndulili, MPRSK
Notes to editors
About UWIANO Platform for Peace
- The UWIANO Platform for Peace, established in May 2010, is a coordination framework for Electoral Violence Reduction Initiatives (EVRI) in Kenya. UWIANO, a Swahili word for "cohesion" is a call for peace and tolerance across ethnic, religious, and political divides. Its membership is comprised of state and non-state organizations namely the National Steering Committee on Peace Building and Conflict Management (NSC) (co-chair), National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) (co-chair), Peace and Development Network Trust (PeaceNet), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), National Police Service (NPS), Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), Council of Governors (COG), Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Media Council of Kenya (MCK), Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
The overall objective of the UWIANO platform is to originate and coordinate initiatives aimed at conflict prevention and peacebuilding in Kenya especially related to elections. Like it has done before, the platform has an election preparedness framework, which will see it play a major role in the electioneering and campaign activities aimed at, and both prevention of electoral violence and promotion of a peaceful electoral process.
About the Consolidating Democratic Dividends for Sustainable Transformation in Kenya' Programme - Deepening Democracy Programme
- The programme supports state action and citizen engagement towards realizing improved democratic governance, accountability, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, human rights, and gender equality. It integrates a human rights-based and people-centred approach to support the engagement of government institutions, communities, and marginalized groups in governance. Interventions will be undertaken in a phased approach. Phase I will work to support broader democratic governance, and Phase II will provide electoral assistance once a UN Electoral Needs Assessment Mission has been undertaken to define the nature and scope of UN support for Kenya's 2022 general elections.
The programme is funded by contributions from the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Irish Aid, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom. This UNDP basket fund also benefits from UN contributions provided by UNDP, UN WOMEN, OHCHR and the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
About the Transcending Foundations of Peace and Security For Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Kenya Programme
- The programme focuses on 1) Policies, legal and regulatory frameworks for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, cohesion, community security and prevention of violent extremism (PVE) formulated, reviewed and implemented at national and county levels; 2) Capacities for peace architecture at national and county levels for sustainable peace, inclusion, cohesion, integration, community security and PVE strengthened and coordinated; 3) Inclusion and participation of youth, persons with disabilities (PWDs), Women and other marginalized groups in peace and security interventions strengthened; and 4) Collaborative partnerships to prevent incidences of violence at community, county and national levels strengthened.
Supported by the Government of Sweden, through the Embassy of Sweden the objective of the programme is to address immediate and underlying drivers of conflict, including poverty and inequality, youth unemployment and vulnerability, exploitation of ethnic differences, inequitable distribution of scarce environmental goods, environmental degradation and adverse effects of climate change, socio-economic exclusion and marginalization, limited engagement of women in conflict transformation, and proliferation of small arms.