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Meet Douglas Arege

Dear Green friends across the globe!

I salute you all and appreciate what you doing to make the world better! I wish to announce to you that I of recent and as New Year resolution thought of re-energizing my green spirit after a long sabbatical.

After a re-connection with Victor Majanga a young green with whom we worked hard to build the Kenya Young Greens and listening to him challenge me on the need to consider revitalizing my green spirit and agenda; I hereby declare my return to green politics! Victor quipped and I quote why not, you can run for President. All this time I was seated in the office of the Green Congress Party of Kenya party leader the Hon. Martin Ogindo.  For what was to be a short courtesy call, we spent hours with Hon Martin Ogindo and Victor Majanga sharing and discussing on how best we would build a resilient and strong green party agenda in Kenya. I must say that the Hon. Martin Ogindo is a leader who believes in youth and helping them build a grounded green party. In him we find an inspiration since Prof. Wangari Maathai who can propel and build a strong green party agenda in Kenya and Africa.

I have a long history in green work; long before I would know what a green party is, I was involved in creating a small arboretum in my home, was a school leader in the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and was involved with Prof. Wangari Maathai planting trees at university of Nairobi, my alma mater where I helped establish a beautification program and tree planting project which resulted in a recreation park. I volunteered with the Green Belt Movement working with farmers and community members in Meru and Kisii planting trees! My best moment was while I was taking an online sustainable course with Lunds University and part of the course was to name my mentor and heroine. I named Prof. Wangari Maathai and a little later it was announced that she won a nobel prize for peace. This inspired me more and encouraged me to continue the green agenda in my small way.

My interaction with volunteers and greens during the world social forum in Kenya and which birthed Kenya Young Greens, Africa Young Greens and Global Young greens during the first ever global greens gathering in Nairobi gives me great joy as it cemented my engagement
in green work have served diligently in build the young green movement. Since Wangari Maathai, we have not had another Kenyan rising to the occasion of furthering the green political agenda. I now feel challenged enough to build the green agenda in Kenyan politics. Kenya post 2017 has experienced a political handshake between the two largest political coalitions now working together and pushing for a constitutional change under the aegis of building bridges initiative(BBI). The clamor for constitutional change is rife with competing political machinations but none of this parties hold value laden agenda for the people like the green party does. I believe this provides an opportunity for the Green Congress party of Kenya to build a new brand of politics with support from our global partners we can be able to  build a momentum to compete and win the next elections especially focusing on the regional governance where we can field and sponsor aspirants in the county assemblies. With parties lacking ideological footing and consistency the Green Congress party of Kenya can fill a vacuum.

Speaking to The Green Congress of Kenya party leader Hon. Martin Ogindo, you feel desire to build a grassroots oriented and based party with people power. The current challenges as per the Kenya constitution is that a national party needs to have presence in 24 counties out of 47 to be considered legally established. This needs a huge resource base to open office, conduct membership training and recruitment. I trust that with financial support from our sister parties across the globe we can establish a green political model in
Kenya that many nations in Africa can learn from to cross-pollinate strong green parties in Africa. Africa provides the next big opportunity for a green revolution worldwide with climate change, poverty, migration taking a toll we have an opportunity to sell green agenda to the people. The Green Congress Party can field a presidential candidate and several positions in at least 24 of the regional governments.

Key policy agendas that the Green Congress Party of Kenya and its political candidates can focus on include:

1. Green economy- build a green economy that is sustainable to create jobs for the surging Kenyan youth population. Investing in climate change investments will see planting of 1B trees in Kenya, fighting the coal mining project being pushed by the Government of Kenya, protecting our fauna and flora from human activities and investing in renewable energy

2. Develop a vibrant health care system that is pro-people with access to universal health care. This is one huge political campaign agenda owing to a failing public sector health system and expensive private healthcare.

3. There is a challenge of historical injustices touching on land where people are homeless, police brutality and extrajudicial killings, the Green Congress Party of Kenya can grab an opportunity of addressing these issues including the refugee challenge among other social justice challenges facing older persons in society. Through this we can address violence and expansion of democratic space for youth, women and people with disability.

Douglas Arege

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