President Uhuru Kenyatta has received the African Gender Award 2022 for championing gender equality and development in Kenya.

Ms Benita Diop, the African Union Commission Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, representing the GIMAC selection committee presented the award to Uhuru.

While receiving his award, Uhuru thanked “Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC)” for recognising the Republic of Kenya’s leadership towards translating the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality into Action by making it a reality for the lives of women, men, girls and boys.

“On behalf of the Republic of Kenya, and on my own behalf, I am deeply honoured to receive this year’s African Gender Award (AGA), in recognition of the significant strides we have made in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls,” Uhuru said.

Uhuru congratulated the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) for winning the private sector and the civil society awards respectively while noting that the award is achieved through multi-sectoral support.

He commended the “Gender is my Agenda Campaign” for keeping the AU Solemn Declaration alive by monitoring its implementation to ensure credibility and reliability of the performance of countries on gender issues.

“In accepting this award, we recognise and appreciate the contribution of court agencies, non-state actors, including the private sector that complements the Kenya Government’s efforts, by implementing gender-inclusive policies,” Uhuru said.

“In a special way, I want to particularly single out the women’s movement in Kenya for the advocacy on implementation of the regional gender instruments, including the Maputo Protocol.”

He expressed optimism that the foundation his administration has laid for advancing gender equality, including the consolidation of strong partnerships and synergies, will be nurtured and strengthened for a more inclusive future.

The award serves as a mechanism to monitor and reward an African Head of State or Government who has shown outstanding achievement in promoting gender equality and development within the thematic areas of the African Union’s Solemn Declaration of Gender Equality.

The Assembly of the Heads of State and Governments of the African Union (AU) adopted the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa in 2004.

Under Uhuru’s leadership, Kenya achieved eleven out of twelve operative articles on the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa. The award is based on three thematic indices namely HIV Index, Education Index and Gender Parity Index.

Highlights of the achievements on the HIV index included the increase of access to ARVs for women from 67 to 91per cent and the increase of free maternity services and the number of deliveries in health facilities by 23.1 per cent between 2014 and 2018.

On the education index, the selection committee noted that Kenya made significant improvement in its primary education enrolment, moving from 83per cent in 2016 to 103.4 per cent in 2022 while the country's overall literacy level moved above 80per cent.

Achievements on gender parity included a growth of 2.9 per cent in women's representation in Parliament between 2016 and 2022, which shot to 16per cent between 2019 and 2022.

Addressing members of the diplomatic corps who attended the ceremony as well as Kenyan Ambassadors and High Commissioners who are in the country for their 18th annual conference, Uhuru affirmed Kenya’s commitment to being a friendly country to all and an enemy to none by seeking only to develop bonds of friendship and collaboration with all partners across the globe.