In 1963 Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom and Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Kenya African National Union, became the first President. Kenyatta promoted a moderate and pro-western policy, carrying out important reforms that allowed the modernization and industrialization of the country. In 1978, after his death, Daniel Arap Moi was elected who, after a few years, began to persecute his opponents and introduced monopartism. Thanks also to the disorganization of the opposition forces, who could not find an agreement on their candidate, Moi was confirmed as president in the 1993 and 1997 elections. Only with the 2002 elections did the KANU party be defeated by the National Rainbow Coalition. As with the 2007 consultations, the presidential elections held in 2013 also took place in a climate of strong social tension.
Kenya has plantation of tea, coffee, pyrethrum (of which it is the world’s largest exporter), sugar cane, fruit and flower, sheep breeding and small-scale processing industry. The economy, which is fundamentally based on agriculture and tourism, is currently growing even though about 50% of the population still lives below the minimum level of poverty. The country has indeed contradictory indices: if on the one hand the literacy rate between 15 and 24 years is very high and reaches 90%, on the other the life expectancy at birth is less than 60 years.
In 2010 Mani Tese came into contact with the Kenyan headquarters of NECOFA (Network for Eco-farming in Africa), registered in the country as a local and operational organization in the counties of Nakuru and Baringo together with the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. NECOFA is interested in developing new interventions, in particular in the Mau forest area and with the involvement of the local Ogiek ethnic group. After a series of meetings on site and also in Italy with the coordinator of NECOFA, the collaboration between Mani Tese and NECOFA begins, which continues today. Since 2011, Mani Tese has been officially registered in Kenya.
The main sector of intervention of Mani Tese in Kenya is the environmental one which develops in the forest of Mau and provides protection and conservation actions, with the responsible participation of the communities that inhabit it, and reforestation, through the use of nurseries, autochthonous plants and others for cutting – to reduce at the same time the consumption of wood in domestic uses. The environmental sector also includes the issue of energy which is addressed by promoting and developing the use of renewable and sustainable systems in the context of intervention (in particular biogas and solar).
The areas of intervention previously described are supported by sustainable tourism on which theme a project was carried out with the involvement of a local travel agency, Terra Madre tours and travel, which in the meantime was created thanks to the support of NECOFA.
I am Samuele Tini, from Cigliano in the province of Varese. Service for rural communities and development is my way of life. For more than a decade I have been living in Africa. When I finished my studies, I decided not to leave the continent, but instead staying in Mozambique, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Sudan and now I am in Kenya. I have worked with Mani Tese for many years, with daily passion to commitment for justice that distinguishes the association. Currently I am the responsible for country Kenya. The major challenge, alongside our local […]