UNDP Ambassador Connie Britton visits Kenya development projects

Jun 18, 2015

Goodwill Ambassador Connie Britton in Kenya. Photo: UNDP

UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Connie Britton arrived in Kenya this week for the start of her official visit to the African continent.

Britton is witnessing firsthand UNDP’s work and impact on communities, climate change, environmental conservation, disaster risk reduction and economic empowerment. In all of these areas of work Britton has shown interest in how gender equality is woven into the programs.

"I'm so happy to be here with UNDP," Britton said. "It's been particularly extraordinary to see the programs in Kenya and how they have improved and changed. I'm impressed by the number of women that I am seeing out there doing amazing things and who are in powerful positions. I think this will be very important for addressing poverty overall."

Britton met with the governor of Kwale County, Salim Mvurya, who said that he appreciates UNDP’s support in the county. This support includes encouraging citizen participation in community leadership and various projects on disaster risk reduction, environmental protection, and women's empowerment.  Britton was further briefed on development projects supported by UNDP in Kwale, including entreprenural training for women and youth, investment promotion, and value-added agriculture.

She also met community members at the Bodo Beach Management Unit in Ramisi.  The women of that community are supported by UNDP through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to conserve the coastal marine ecosystem that includes the rehabilitation of mangrove forests, which are vital for fishing livelihoods.

Prior to her visit to Kwale, Britton met Hassan Wario, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts. During the meeting she emphasized the need for the use of film and sports to address development challenges, including peaceful coexistence and community cohesion. Speaking at the same meeting, the UN Resident Coordinator, Nardos Bekele-Thomas asaid that the visit was important for UNDP's work in Kenya.

Other projects that Britton visited included one supporting youth for innovation in development, where she visited the women's technology nonprofit AkiraChix at the iHub—Nairobi's innovation hub for the technology community—where young women are using information and communications technologies to solve development challenges.

Britton will next travel  to Rwanda, where she  will also be visiting UNDP programs and meeting with key partners.

About Connie Britton

Connie Britton was appointed Goodwill Ambassador on 2 April 2014 at UNDP headquarters. In this role, she raises awareness on UNDP’s work in poverty eradication and women’s empowerment, advocating to both the American and global public.  Throughout her career, Britton has devoted substantial time to a wide range of charity work both in the US and internationally. She also has been passionately committed to supporting women’s empowerment and women’s health issues.

UNDP, along with other UN agencies, has long enlisted the voluntary services and support of prominent individuals as Goodwill Ambassadors to highlight these causes. Their fame helps amplify the urgent and universal message of human development and international cooperation, helping to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

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