Brad Arsenault, Deputy Office Chief, Environment Office of USAID Kenya and East Africa’s participation at the East African Community Learning Event and Investors Forums/Donors Roundtable on Environment and Natural Resources Management.

Speeches Shim

Friday, March 2, 2018
Brad Arsenault remarks Remarks at the donors roundtable on Environment and Natural Resources.
  • Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, Deputy Secretary General (Productive & Social Sectors), EAC
  • Dr. Ali Said Matano, Executive Secretary, LVBC
  • Esteemed development partners
  • Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests

I am pleased to be here today to represent the U.S. Government in these important consultative meetings. 

Over the course of the last couple of years, USAID has been defining its strategic priorities for its East Africa regional program and formalizing its relationship with the East Africa Community.  The process has been informed by extensive consultations with our regional partners, including the EAC, with a view of aligning our organizational strategic priorities.  "The U.S. Government, through USAID, focuses on the sustainable management of the region’s rich natural resources as a driver for socio-economic growth and sustainable development. Our joint commitment to managing natural resources is critical."

Of course we have been partners with EAC for about a decade, but our new arrangement allows us a deeper and more strategic partnership. USAID’s new activity with EAC will enhance the collaborative management and conservation of transboundary natural resources, increase the perceived value of living wildlife and reduce wildlife poaching and trafficking.

Over the last year there have been a series of important meetings to forge synergies, mobilize new and leverage existing resources, and avoid duplication of efforts.  For instance, the 1st EAC Development Partners Consultative Forum was convened by EAC in October 2017. The development partners pledged their support to the implementation of EAC’s new 5th Development Strategy and sectoral priorities.

However, just last week there was a missed opportunity.  As part of the 19th EAC Heads of State Summit held in Uganda, the Heads of State convened a special retreat to harness political support and mobilize funding through public-private partnerships for regional flagship infrastructure and health projects.  Although not directly addressed, I think we have a critical opportunity in the future.

Since the region’s nature-based tourism contributes about 7.5-10% of the region’s GDP, and given the huge contribution of environment and natural resources sector to the GDP, in the future, I encourage the EAC to raise the environment and natural resources sector as part such meetings and retreats.  The environment and natural resources sector is foundational to sustainable economic activities.

As you can see, this Investor Forum and Donors Roundtable on Environment and Natural Resources are timely.  I hope this meeting will provide an opportunity to consider specific sector priorities in greater detail.

Although USAID development programs aim to support EAC with regional multi-stakeholder policy dialogues on sustainable development and raising awareness on the economic and intrinsic value of wildlife, these collaborative approaches will achieve far more if we can harness all of our strengths toward common objectives.

I am pleased that EAC and LVBC continue to make strides in securing new resources and technical assistance from other partners such as the Federal Government of Germany, the European Union and the United Nation’s Environment Program that will complement U.S. Government support going forward. 

I hope we can all commit to advocating for high level policy and resource mobilization for regional environmental programs so that we can achieve both economic growth and protection and conservation of the region’s iconic wildlife species and landscapes.

Thank you.

East African Community (EAC) Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania
Issuing Country