The Earl of Wessex visits Kenya

Published 16 March 2022

Read more about The Earl of Wessex’s visit to Kenya in support of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Earl of Wessex is in Kenya to see the success of the award in the country and meet some of the 40,000 young people currently taking part.

His Royal Highness is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Award which was founded by his father in 1956, and currently operates in more than 130 countries worldwide.

Day 1

On the first day of the visit, The Earl met with Award participants at Aberdare Open Field, to learn more about their passion for environmental conservation, as well as the activities they have undertaken as part of their Award programmes.

Known as the President’s Award in Kenya, it has been operating in the country since 1966, with more than half a million young people benefitting from the scheme so far.

In Aberdare Open Fields, close to Treetops - where 70 years ago The Queen received the news of her Accession – His Royal Highness planted a tree as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

The tree planting came after The Earl met young people taking part in their Gold Award expedition and heard first-hand about the efforts being undertaken to support environmental conservation. Participants in the Award have planted more than 30,000 trees across Kenya in the past year as part of efforts to tackle climate change.

Later, His Royal Highness visited Dedan Kimathi University to speak to young people and help prepare them as they embark on their Gold Award – something which he achieved in 1986!

To finish the day, The Earl visited the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).

Day 2

On the second day of his visit, The Earl visited the Kenyan President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, at the State House Nairobi.

The President’s Award – Kenya, the name under which The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award operates in the country, has been greatly supported by the Kenyan Government. The Kenyan Government helps to fund the Award and provides much other critical support, including through human resources, providing vehicles for transportation and providing office space in Nairobi’s business hub. 

His Royal Highness also had meetings with Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs and Dr Sara Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Education.

The Earl later later met with members of the business community from across Africa, hearing from entrepreneurs and innovators about their work.

Day 3

On the final day of his visit to Kenya, The Earl joined an Awards Ceremony, where 150 people young people received their Bronze and Silver Awards.

The Awards ceremony took place following a manyatta mentorship session, where the awardees interacted with mentors who passed on their experiences of work, business, and life in general.

The young people were all part of the Compass Project, which was launched in 2016 with the objective of helping young people to access the Awards through a digital platform, with institutions who offer the Award benefitting from new ICT equipment. 

His Royal Highness also planted a tree in memory of his father.