Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Olivier Adam said in Dar es Salaam on Monday while beginning his visit to three EAC founder countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda that while Kenya has a volunteer policy in place, Tanzania and Uganda have none.
Adam who is accompanied by UNV Regional Manager for the East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), Njoya Tikum said as EAC countries continue to show interest in leveraging volunteerism for development, volunteers often require support from wider, more formalized structures.”East African countries should have in place volunteer policies and harmonise them for smooth running of volunteer work,” Adam noted.
He said his mission is aimed at galvanizing increased support and recognition for the integration process that will incorporate volunteers in development programs in the region. “Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in promoting individual and collective action, leading to sustainable development for people by people,” the UN Volunteers chief added. A record 1,422 onsite volunteers served in 2018 in the broader eastern African region, with 399 of them serving in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
These volunteers serve in different areas of development, humanitarian and peace-building assignments. Kenya is also the highest UN volunteers’ sending country globally, with 325 Kenyans currently serving as volunteers in different countries across the world. Working closely with the Africa Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the UNV programs have also helped tackle regional development challenges.
These sub-regional exchanges of volunteers help enhance increased south-south exchange of development experiences and fast track the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and AU’s Agenda 2063.
The Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Olivier Adam, speaks with journalist in Dar es Salaam on Monday. Photo: Prosper Makene.