Stakeholders in the peace and security sector from the Western region converged in Kakamega County on Friday to discuss the role of cultural innovation in driving peace, security and economic development.
The forum followed an acknowledgement from Inter Region Economic Network that to effectively interact with the rest of the counties that form the Lake Region Economic Bloc, the western region’s ability to effectively resolve conflict is a critical skill that must be mastered. Culture is a crucial part of the conflict management and economic development process.
Speaking during the event the Chief Executive Officer of HEAR Africa, Dr Tecla Wanjala, emphasized on the need for peaceful co-existence among all people. “The Luhya culture recognizes that when used well, the institution of elders could promote peace among all the communities in the region, said Dr.Wanjala.
The forum organized by the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN Kenya) follows a showcase of traditional cuisines from Western Kenya region in Butere, Kakamega that aimed to unlock the potential of the region’s food culture by encouraging people to embrace the growing and eating of indigenous foods as an aspect of promoting food security.
“Traditional foods have resisted modernization and industrialization in the food chain supply. They are free from chemicals and other additives that we find in food today. Such cuisines should be kept alive and passed onto younger generations,” said Mr James Shikwati, Director of Inter Region Economic Network and IREN.
The event aims to demonstrate the interplay between culture and business and is in line with the 15th IREN Culture and Trade Fair that is set to take place on November 2019. IREN has hosted 14 Trade and Cultural Fairs that have involved farmers and traders with enterprises along different agricultural value chains, corporate companies and individuals. The culture and trade fete has featured Agribusiness Enterprise Exhibition, Culinary Arts Competition, Cultural Show, Music and Dances Competition and Sports.
About IREN Kenya
Inter Region Economic Network, Ltd. (IREN) has managed over 18 business competitions for the last 15 years. IREN has for the last three years created screening and training platforms for Start-ups and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises across the East African region. IREN ‘s three focus areas include Think Tank for public policy analysis targeting wealth creation in Africa; Enterprise Development to promote investor ready enterprises and consultancy. www.irenkenya.com