African Solidarity Caravan: COPA, Kenya

The event was held on the 16th of August 2014 at Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. The people in attendance were multi-ethnic community members, Mr Alhad Ahmed Adam from the County Assembly and Mr Caleb Omollo.

The event was divided into three sections:

  • Performances
  • Speeches
  • Public Conversation

Performances

There were three performances: the Kibera Hamlet youth group gave an acrobatic performance, Kibera Katwekera cultural group performed six songs from six different Kenyan ethnic groups, and Youth Talent group gave out three coral verses with the theme of peace building and ethnic tolerance. The last group also performed a skit depicting communal conflict where a water borehole was the main source of Inter-ethnic bloodshed.

The performances were not limited to professionals but the community also took part by showcasing their talents and getting prizes for the best performances.

Speeches

Area Member of the Country Assembly, Deputy Country Commissioner, a COPA Representative, religious leaders and youth leaders delivered the speeches during the event.

In his speech, the area MCA acknowledged the rising political tension in the country, and how the citizens are divided along ethnic lines, and most of the major ethnic groups in the country share their loyalty between the ruling coalition, and opposition. He reminded the huge crowd, that while politicians are working hard to incite them against one another, they are always aware in their suburb comfort zones and watching on television, how the people of the slums slaughter each other. He concluded by thanking COPA and Action Support center for bringing the event to Kibera slums, and urged them to organize many other events in future to help in sensitizing the people in the slums against ethno – political related conflicts.

The Deputy County commissioner thanked the two organizations for bringing the event to Kibera and stated that issues of human security and community safety cannot be left to the government alone. He condemned the recent skirmishes in Kibera laini Saba between two rival ethnic groups, resulted in massive destruction of properties and serious injuries to more than 50 people from both the opposing sides. He said that the government has devised serious measures to curb the rising cases of insecurity in the country, and the efforts of implementing the Nyumba kumi initiative within the Kibera slums, is at an advanced stage.

Abdul Aziz Abubakar, who represented the organizers, thanked the huge crowd for finding time to witness the event. He gave a brief history of the African Solidarity forum, its general objectives and the objectives of the Kibera event. He promised that COPA would request its partners for more support in order to organize a much bigger event in future.

The youth leader Mr. Abdallah Juma asked the government, through the deputy county commissioner to intensify its efforts towards poverty alleviation in the slums by creating income generating opportunities to the youth. He also urged his fellow youth from Kibera, not to engage in violent activities, and to beware of politicians with the habit of hiring young people to instigate politically motivated violence.

Public conversation

The Master of ceremony Mr. Moses Omondi innovatively engaged the crowd towards finding the lasting solutions for a more ethnicly and religiously unified Kibera. More than 20 members of the community, including several children, gave their views which included, among others;

  • Mutual respect of ethnic, religious and other diversities.
  • The government and NGOs to organize continuous inter ethnic, multi cultural and inter religious forums.
  • Rehabilitating of existing academic institutions within Kibera and building of Technical institutions.
  • Improving of the infrastructure in Kibera.
  • Eradication of drugs and illicit brew in Kibera.
  • Enhancing security by creating proactive means of dealing with crime.
  • Curbing corruption within the Kibera provincial administration.
X