Global Peace Foundation Recognized for Advancing Peace Agenda
Millions of Kenyans poured into polling stations on March 4 in the first general election since the ratification of a new constitution and first presidential balloting since 2007. The mostly peaceful voting was a striking contrast to the 2007 elections, which set off widespread ethnic violence that left more than a thousand people dead and stunned the region.
In a March 14 report in Kenya’s Standard, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization representing eight East African nations, commended the peaceful process and noted the important role of a number of government and civil society organizations which had promoted a peace agenda leading up to elections. IGAD specifically cited the Office of the President, ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, Brand Kenya Board, the Consulting House, the Global Peace Foundation and National Youth Sector Alliance.
IGAD called the orderly election a big boost to the region that offered valuable election lessons. Speaking in Nairobi and quoted in the Standard, IGAD’s Executive Mahboub Maalim said many observers were concerned about the conduct of the elections and hoped there would be no violence.
“Everyone in the region knows that Kenya is the hub for trade, tourism, transport and communication and many other things. Whatever happens in Kenya has a direct impact on the region, whether positive or negative. That’s why it is a huge relief that the elections were done peacefully and with maturity,” he said.
Global Peace Foundation adviser and businessman Dr. Manu Chandaria praised Kenyans and security agencies for keeping peace during and after elections. He said the ideology of peace is rapidly strengthening in all parts of the country.
“All the political differences can be resolved if poverty is tackled among ordinary citizens, and that can only be done by creating jobs,” Chandaria said. Brand Kenya Board Director of Marketing Musyoki Nzilu added that Kenya as a gateway to Eastern Africa region has triumphed in its standing as a result of the elections.
Kenyans elected a new president, county governors, senators, women representatives and county assembly people. The turnout of registered voters was the highest ever in Kenya's history. The Global Peace Foundation implemented peace and character education initiatives in Nairobi and Rift Valley, which experienced some of the worst post-election violence in 2008.
The Global Peace Foundation congratulates the people of Kenya on the peaceful election process and commitment to democratic governance.