Nairobi Peace Talks 2015

I Contribute to Peace

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The Nairobi Peace Talks was held on 12 November 2015 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).

Organized under the theme ‘I Contribute to Peace’, the event aimed to inspire broad reflection on how everyone has a role to play in promoting peace. This event marked the first time the Peace Talks are held in Kenya.

Speakers from all over the country, and coming from diverse backgrounds, shared their personal stories and experiences, demonstrating their commitment to peace. The Nairobi Peace Talks highlighted how every individual can contribute to peace in their own unique way, such as by building bridges between communities and pursuing mutual understanding. The Nairobi Peace Talks also featured performing artists, who brought in yet another element of how one can take an active part in fostering peace.

Location: United Nations Office at Nairobi
Date: 12/11/2015
Time : 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm


Abbas Gullet

Abbas is Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross. Under Abbas, the timely interventions of the Kenya Red Cross have earned it recognition as one of the best performing National Red Cross Societies globally. Abbas was the first African Deputy Secretary-General of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), but he chose to return to lead the Kenya Red Cross. His personal leadership in emergencies and humanitarian situations has made him one of Kenya’s most recognizable faces. In 2007 he was named “UN in Kenya Person of the Year”.

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Afrizo is a group of musically talented students from Nairobi’s Daystar University. Founded in 1998 and directed by the renowned gospel artist Hellen Akoth Mtawali, the band sings in English, Swahili and various local languages. Afrizo’s uplifting music brought the group international attention, including tours in the United States of America, through which they raised funds for university scholarships.

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Francis Kariuki

Francis is the administrative chief of Lanet Umoja, home to some 30,000 people in Nakuru North District, 160 kilometers west of Nairobi. Known as ‘The Tweeting Chief’, he has captured national and international attention for his deployment of Twitter, the micro-blogging platform, as a tool for community policing and neighbourhood watch, reporting and preventing crimes. Francis, who also uses Twitter to send messages of hope and peace, has more than 15 years of professional experience in education, government and applied technology to security technology mobilization.

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Geofrey Odongo

Geofrey was elected Deputy President of the Children’s Government of the National Children’s Government of Kenya by pupil representatives from all 47 Counties. Under the leadership of Geofrey and his fellow members, the Children’s Government has focused on a campaign for the full ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; education and nutrition; their thoughts on the priorities of Kenya as a nation; and encouraging older youths to break free of the long held notion that only white collar jobs count for a decent living.

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Ikal Angelei

Ikal is an environmental activist. She is co-founder and Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, a grassroots organization that seeks to foster social, economic and environmental justice in the Lake Turkana Basin. Ikal completed a Master's degree in Public Policy and Political Science at Stony Brook University in New York. In 2012 she was awarded with the Goldman Environmental Prize, particularly for her voicing on behalf of Northern Kenyan indigenous communities about the environmental implications of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam.

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Josephine Kulea

Josephine is the Founder and President of Samburu Girls Foundation (SGF). She is a courageous activist addressing harmful cultural practices facing children in the pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya. She rescues girls from female genital mutilation, child marriages and beading and takes all the rescued girls to boarding schools for education and safeguarding. Her tremendous work has been rewarded with numerous awards, and it has been recognized widely, including by President Obama.

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Julius 'Juliani' Owino

Juliani was born and raised in the low-income Dandora neighbourhood of Nairobi. He is a popular hip-hop musician known for his socially conscious lyrics, with themes that mainly focus on social, spiritual and political emancipation and the dream of a united Kenyan nation. A multiyear winner of Kenya’s Groove awards, one of his favourite themes is encouraging young Kenyans to live up to their potential, often citing his own story, growing up poor and now earning a decent living as a recording artist.

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Nardos Bekele-Thomas

Nardos is the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Kenya. She is a seasoned and experienced UN official having served in many countries. Nardos leads and coordinates the United Nations’ efforts to support the Government in creating and sustaining an enabling environment for the promotion of human rights, good governance and the improvement of the quality of life and the well-being of the people of Kenya by reducing poverty, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups and regions.

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SARABI - which means “mirage” in Swahili - is an Afro Fusion band made up of young musicians from Nairobi’s Eastlands slums. Formed in 2005, the group is influenced by the everyday happenings around its members, who then create a sound picture that vividly represents the society’s journey. SARABI’s music is made up of traditional Kenyan rhythms, Benga and a blend of Western sounds.

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Selline Korir

Selline is the founder of the Rural Women Peace Link (RWPL), a network of grassroots women's organizations operating in areas affected by armed conflicts in the western parts of Kenya. Selline and RWPL are working to help the communities through trauma healing for widows and ex-child-militias, as well as economic empowerment and reintegration of ex-militias into their communities. Selline has worked for many years in different rural parts of Kenya, empowering women and girls to become active citizens and agents of change.

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Solomon Muyundo

Solomon, better known as “Solo 7,” is a grassroots artist from Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. During the 2008 post-election violence he started to paint murals delivering messages of peace in public spaces. Solomon estimates that he's painted his street art in more than 4000 locations around Kibera on bridges, fences, buildings. He chooses to go by the moniker “Solo 7” because the number 7 is a very special one for him: he was born in 1977 July 7 and he is the 7th sibling in his family. Both his names have 7 letters each.

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Yusuf Hassan

Yusuf is a Kenyan diplomat, journalist and serving Member of Parliament. He began his career as a journalist, working for major Kenyan and international news agencies before joining the UN. He worked for UNHCR in Geneva, was assigned to various different diplomatic postings around the world and rose to become Director of IRIN. Hassan was elected to the Kenyan Parliament in 2011. In 2012, he was wounded in a grenade attack in Nairobi and was re-elected while recuperating in hospital. He continues relentlessly advocate for tolerance, human rights, social justice and equality.

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Zarina Patel

Zarina is an author, historian, human rights activist and environmentalist with a deep interest in Kenyan South Asian affairs. Famous for almost single-handedly saving the public Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi from land grabbers in 1991, Zarina is a founding member of the Asian African Heritage Trust and was a member of the Ufungamano initiative for Constitutional Change in Kenya. In 2003 she was appointed to the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission taskforce. She has authored three books and is currently managing editor of AwaaZ magazine.

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Watch full event

Please use the link below to watch the full-length video of the Nairobi Peace Talks.

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Nairobi is among the most prominent cities in Africa. Founded in 1899, the Kenyan capital has attracted people from all over the country and from abroad. Today its diversity is reflected in the multicultural and cosmopolitan nature of the city.

Nairobi is a major diplomatic and commercial hub for Eastern and Central Africa. The city is home to many peace initiatives and hosts numerous international organizations, including the United Nation’s headquarters in Africa, which houses the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).