Sunday, September 24, 2017
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The 4th Annual Devolution Conference

devcon4The curtains came down in style during the 4th Annual Devolution Conference as stakeholders and citizens shared their experience on devolution for the last four years. The Conference took place at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) under the theme “Devolution – Transforming Lives: Tell Your Story!
Four years since the Devolution journey began, Kenyans can attest to the transformation that County Governments have brought.

The Council of Governors in conjunction with the Senate, Ministry of Devolution and Planning and other stakeholders have been organizing Annual Devolution Conferences as one of the ways of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of devolution in the country. This being the final conference before the curtains close down on the pioneer County Governments, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened the three-day conference. In his speech, the President noted that Kenyans chose to transform their way of governance, seeking to be at the centre of government and fair access to basic services. He further noted that Kenyans wanted leaders who respected their needs and choices and honest leaders, who were directly accountable to them. On the status and progress of devolution, the President said, “We Kenyans disagree about many things, but I dare say that none will deny that this is what we wanted from devolution. Four years ago, the Kenyan people handed me the privilege to implement this fundamental change. I am pleased to see that the institutions we set up to support the aspirations of Kenyans stand firm. Devolution is here to stay!” He urged leaders present to constantly ensure that the expectations of their electorate are met.
The President also launched the Council of Governors Strategic plan 2017- 2021, The Governors Inaugural Speech Book and the Performance Management Framework. He equally gave a directive to the striking doctors to return to work. Thereafter, there were remarks from various guests including Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution & Planning, Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Speaker of the Senate, Rt. Hon. Sen. Ekwee Ethuro, message from the Indian Prime Minister delivered by Visiting Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Representatives of the Children of Kenya and remarks by the Chairman, Council of Governors H.E Hon. Peter Munya.

The Conference kicked went on with various plenary sessions starting off with Trade on Promoting Economic Transformation through an Enabling Business Environment. The Objective of this session was Advancing Structural Reforms towards Creating an Enabling Business Environment, Agriculture on Agricultural Transformation for Food Security, Rural Development and Wealth Creation, and the objective of the plenum session was To Identify Opportunities for Improving the Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness of Agricultural Services in a Devolved System to Enhance Food Security. Thereafter, the Energy plenum took place, discussions were centered on Promoting Accelerated Investment and Access to Markets and the Objective of this session was inclined Towards Promoting Inter-County Linkages and Socio-Economic Growth through Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Development.

Day two coincided with International Women’s day, and had a good start with the Natural Resource and Management Plenum whose discussions revolved around the Potential and Opportunities for Natural Resource Management within the context of achieving sustainable development goals. The Gender plenum centered on revolving Equality and Inclusivity Development at the County Level for Sustainable. The Objective of this session was to take Stock of Where the Nation is in Terms of Implementing Equitable Representation, Promotion of Marginalized Groups, Cultural Diversity and Gender. The Urban Plenum was themed Building Resilient and Climate Smart Cities for Growth and Sustainable Development, with its objective being to discuss how Devolution has impacted on Sustainable Urban Development. Media plenum closed the day with the focus being Media Perspective on Devolution for Development. The objective was to examine the Role of Responsible Communication for Inclusiveness, Cohesion and Development. This plenum majorly addressed issues on how the Devolution Concept was reported on.

On the last day of the conference the Health Plenum looked at Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promoting Well-Being in a Devolved System of Governance with objective pf seeing benefits of County Government’s prioritization and resourcing of public health, preventive and promotive healthcare. During the Corruption Plenum discussants addressed Facing Corruption as a drawback to the Development Agenda as they interrogated the Current Experiences and Suggest Ways of Enhancing Democracy and Social Accountability to Safeguard the Gains Made in Development. The last plenum of the day was on Transition, dubbed Preparedness and Planning for Seamless Transition, the objective of this plenum was to interrogate the Roles and Responsibilities of Constitutional Commissions, Judiciary, Political Parties and Elected Leaders to Ensure Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Peace in the Upcoming Elections.

The Council of Governors Maarifa Center was launched while the best three best exhibition booths were recognized. Remarks were then made during the official closing ceremony by Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o on behalf of Rt. Hon. Dr. Eng. Raila Amolo Odinga, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya. The joint communique and action plan moving forward was read by the Vice-Chair, Council of Governors H.E Eng. John Mruttu. Various speakers including Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, Resident Coordinator, UNDP, Vote of thanks by the Chief Whip, Council of Governors H.E Amb.Ukur Yatani and official closing by H.E. Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and planning on behalf of H.E Hon Willam Ruto.

It was a great event that saw various actors and participants, both locally and internationally, come to tell their story!

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