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Thursday, 06 December 2018 16:19

SEE YOU IN 2019

The end of 2018 is fast approaching, the 2nd quarter of the financial year 2018/19 ends with it. It is proper practice for any organization to hold their semiannual review at this time of the year.
The Council of Governors Secretariat on 28th-30th November 2018 held their semi- annual retreat to review and determine the strides made and the tasks ahead if it is to fully implement its Annual Work plan for the year 2018/19. The team also had an opportunity to review their priority areas for the remaining half of the year. During the review, the secretariat also held its team building session and end of year party.
The Council of Governors holds a team building session every year to ensure that each time it works like a well-oiled machine. World over, the best organization and companies hold such session where staff can interact informally with each other and encourage collaboration and teamwork among colleagues. Fun activities that help people see each other in a different light allow them to connect in a different setting.
Led by the Chief Executive, directors, managers and staff had an opportunity to engage in activities promoting Communication and working better together, Collaboration and the fostering of innovation and creativity, Celebration, team spirit, fun, and motivation, Networking, socializing, and getting to know each other better.
One of the most powerful reasons for team building is to get results. Through a series of planned team bonding events that are fun and motivational, teams build skills like communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
The Secretariat also proceeded to its reggae themed end of year party where staff and committees were awarded. The committee of the year award was scooped by the health committee and the same committee also scooping the team lead of the year – Mr. Meshack Ndolo and rising star of the year Ms. Sheila Yoto from the same committee. The employee of the year award went to Ms. Mary Ashira – CEO’s secretary. Other categories included; special service awards awarded by the organization to head of Security – Inspector Malila and Mr. Wanyonyi - Council of Governors mailman. Members of staff also had an opportunity of appreciating each other for the year that was. They did this by exchanging gifts that one would pick randomly.
At the end of the team building, teams were clear on what they would be focusing in the coming year, how each department must work together with the other to ensure the success of the organization, for there is great strength in unity and teamwork.

Thursday, 06 December 2018 16:13

SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY CONFERENCE

“Water is life and that’s the reason why we are all here today,” H.E Yoweri Museveni, the President of the republic of Uganda
Kenya hosted the 1st Global Conference on the Sustainable Blue Economy with a focus on creating economic growth, ensuring healthy waters and building safe communities. The Conference builds on the momentum of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015 climate Change Conference in Paris and the UN Ocean Conference 2017 “Call to Action”.
The world has rallied around the enormous pressure facing oceans & water, from plastic pollution to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, there is internal recognition that there is need to develop our waters in an inclusive and sustainable manner for the benefit of all.
Speaking during the Conference, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta noted that, “Kenya is privileged to host this Conference, and I am keen on how the forum will promote synergies between local authorities and National Governments in the implementation of decisions on blue economy including through the Governors and Mayors Global Forum for the Sustainable Blue Economy.” He also added that, “It is my priority to ensure the role of women in the blue economy has enhanced and identifying the barriers and opportunities to further empower women and encourage their role in positions of leadership and that gender equality and the empowerment of women will build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. ”
Also speaking during the Conference, Excellency Governors, through the Chairman of the Council of Governors, H.E Josphat Nanok noted, “County Governments are keen in ensuring that the economy at the County level has been lifted and that the local product from Counties that have water bodies are manufactured and sold both locally and internationally.”
Special attention was paid to scaling up productive and conservation activities in the following priority areas deliberated at the conference; Ending hunger, securing food supplies and promoting good health and sustainable fisheries, Climate action, agriculture and fisheries, waste management and pollution-free oceans and people, culture, communities and societies – the inclusive blue economy.
Some of the key resolutions made during the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) 26 - 28, November 2018 that benefit counties; implementing a $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan project on enhancing maritime safety and addressing protection of marine biodiversity (Canada), Confront the challenge of waste management and plastic pollution (Kenya) and Commitment to desalinate (its) sea water for agriculture, domestic and industrial use (Namibia).

Thursday, 06 December 2018 05:43

Devolution Conference 2019 Kicks off in earnest

On 3rd December 2019, H.E Waiguru, the Vice Chair at the Council of Governors and the Chairperson Devolution Conference planning Committee officially kicked off plans towards the devolution Conference.

While officiating the 3rd County Executive Committee Members Conference, the Vice Chair noted that the CEC’s Conference has been an important pillar of the Annual Devolution Conference since it is a precursor and all resolutions form part of the discussions therein.

“The next Annual Devolution Conference will be held in March 2019 in Kirinyaga County, I urge you to use this platform to ensure that your recommendations towards improving service delivery are incorporated,” she said. She equally urged the County officials to use the CEC’s conference and discuss topics that will steer robust discussions in the upcoming devolution conference. Further, she called upon collaboration and consultation among counties terming it as the secret for common people to achieve uncommon results.

H.E. Waiguru thereafter officially unveiled the devolution conference website being the first participant to register online. She called upon the private sector, academia, development partners and National government to join in the conversation.

The CEC’s Conference brings together all County Executive Committee Members, County Secretaries and County Attorneys to take stock of sector issues and present recommendations to the Annual Devolution Conference. The 6th Annual Devolution Conference will take a sector approach under the theme Deliver. Transform. Measure. “Remaining Accountable”. The sectors under focus in the Sixth Devolution Conference will be Health, Trade, Housing and Infrastructure and Agriculture.

To participate visit www.devolutionconference.cog.go.ke

SymbioCity Urban Leadership Forum: Who Are the Leaders We Need?
Kenya’s urban areas are growing rapidly. To ensure a sustainable growth, there is urgent need for cooperation between the political and technical arms of County governments. Being a long-term process, urban development requires long-term political agreements and planning – beyond elective terms. This was concluded at the SymbioCity facilitated Urban Leadership Forum (ULF) in Nakuru in mid November.
Participants of the SymbioCity Kenya forum stated that shared visions, strategies and plans were the foundation of planning, as it reduced the risk of projects being opposed. The leaders who consisted of members of county assembly (elected/appointed every five years) and executive committee members, agreed that political leadership was critical at all levels in building credibility within the counties.
Differences between the two arms of government was apparent in discussions, and the Director of Urban Development at the national Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Charles K’onyango Otieno, advised the leaders to move on with the contemporary changes in their counties and set aside their jarring interests.

Nakuru County Deputy Governor, Dr. Erick Korir, addresses participants at the ULF.
Bottlenecks for sustainable urban management in Counties
The two-day forum identified a number of recurring bottlenecks in urban development in the counties. These included: lack of cross-departmental coordination; political interference in programming; resistance or rejection of projects by the local community; lack of enforcement of plans, permits and legislation related to urban areas; poor oversight during procurement, contracting, implementation and M&E; lack of defined urban structures, arising from sub-division of towns into several wards; and inadequate funding for urban development programming.
The leaders our urban areas need
The bottlenecks exposed the need to buttress leadership. The participants resolved that being a long-term process, urban development required long-term political agreements and planning beyond elective terms.
A member of the Kitale Local Urban Forum (LUF), Immaculate Shamalla, stated that urban development required leaders who had collaboration, partnerships, civic education, vision, passion and drive at the fore of their leadership strategy. These were leaders who could simplify and demystify their approaches and increase public participation and project ownership by letting the people know all about their actions.
Meru County SymbioCity Pilot Project Manager, Jefferson Musyoka disclosed how the county had discarded the “silo mentality” in favour of inclusivity; for the success of their ongoing market project, leaders and the community are working together towards a common goal.
Moreover, Director K’onyango stated the need for institutional development and structures, to restructure Kenya’s urban centres and revitalise urban development. He said adopting urban management boards would enhance professional, as opposed to administrative, management. The law directs the establishment of urban boards, composed of competent professionals, to manage cities and municipalities in counties. K’Onyango said that the boards would bring in professional and enterprising urban management, leading to healthier rural centres fed by urban centres.
Quotable leadership lines from the ULF:
“Leadership is not an option; the people can’t do without it,” Richard Bonyo, SCK Homabay
“Leaders are the gatekeepers of every community,” Sospeter Onunga, SCK Kisumu
“To get the leaders we need, we need patience because now we see it as a mirage,” Lawrence Esho, Chairman Kenya Institute of Planners
“We need leaders who ‘need to be leaders’,” Wawira Njue, Embu Local Urban Forum
View the 12 Conclusions and Recommendations from the Urban Leadership Forum
Read more about the seven County Pilot projects on SymbioCityKenya.org

"The Government of Kenya has indicated strong commitment to deliver a successful Africities Summit in 2021," said the Governor in his address. Kisumu County will host the 9th edition of the African Cities Summit set to be held in 2021. This followed a long bidding process spearheaded by the Council of Governors and the County Government of Kisumu. Kisumu County has shown the interest and capacity to host the 9th Edition of Africa's premier gathering of cities and local governments.
In his bi-lingual (French and English) speech, Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o welcomed the move saying the meeting will place Kisumu City on the world map and welcomes participants from pan Africa and the whole world to Kisumu County and to Kenya for the second time for the Africities Summit.
The signature event of the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLG-Africa) will be held in Kenya for the second time after the first one in 2006.
UCLG-Africa Secretary General Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi announced this in Marrakech, Morocco on 22nd November 2018
Kisumu County and Kenya as a whole appreciates the opportunity to host the next Summit. The summit provides both direct and indirect benefits to the host Country both social and economic. "There's no doubt that towards and after the 2021 Summit, Kisumu City will not be the same again," he added.
HE assured delegates of both the Nation al and Kisumu County Governments to delivering an extraordinary conference setting the bar for conferencing and positioning Kisumu County as a Conferencing destination in Kenya and Africa.
As a premiere step towards the planning of the 2021 Africities Summit Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o met the UCLG Africa Secretary General Jean Pierre Mbassi to reassure Kisumu County’s commitment to host the conference as well as acquire technical guidance towards planning of the Conference. The 2021 meet is expected to host over 8000 participants in the Lakeside City.

The Chairman, Council of Governors H.E. Josphat Nanok, led the Kenya Delegation to the Africities 8 Summit held on November 20 -24, 2018 in Marrakech – Morocco. The Delegation included Governors, County Executive Committee members in charge of Lands, housing and urban development and Members of various County Assemblies.
In 2010, Kenya promulgated a new Constitution which introduced a devolved system of governance. With Counties now implementing functions as enshrined in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, access to services has successfully improved and Kenyans are overwhelmingly in support of devolution. Despite the strides on planning, budgeting and public participation, there have been challenges too. However, County Governments are committed to ensuring that the objects of the devolved system of governance as enshrined in the Constitution are achieved.
The Council of Governors, cognizant of this, organized a side event during the Africities Summit on 22nd November, 2018 to share the “Devolution Experience in Kenya”. The summit provided the opportunity to bench mark with other countries since many African Countries continue to appreciate and admire Kenya’s system of Governance.
Speaking at the Side event, Hon Johnson Osoi, County Assemblies Forum Chairman’s representative pointed out that since the advent of devolution in Kenya, there has been an increased flow of resources to the grassroots, “In the past 6 years or so, we have seen the highest amount of resources channeled to County Governments,” he stated.
Most participants in the Kenya side event were mainly concerned with division of function between the two levels of Government if they are to implement devolution in their Countries.
The Africities summit attracts over 5000 participants from all over the world including; world and regional leaders, ministers in charge of local governments (in the Kenyan case County Governments); ministers in charge of housing and urban development; ministers of public service; local authorities and local elected officials; officials of local and central administrations; civil society organizations, associations and trade unions; economic operators of the public and private sectors as well as of the social/ solidarity economy; traditional rulers; researchers and academics; and international cooperation agencies.
Africities is the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s (UCLGAs) Pan-African flagship event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa. The summit, organized by UCLG Africa and other partners including the Council of Governors, was focused on defining appropriate shared strategies for improving the living conditions of people at the local level and; to contribute to the integration, peace and unity of Africa starting from the grassroots.
A point that the Kenyan panelists including Ministry of Devolution and ASALS, National Treasury, County Governments and the County Assemblies Forum handled clarifying how the Constitution of Kenya outlines the functions under each level of Government.
Kenya Continues to be a benchmark for many Countries around the World. Devolution has taken course and many Countries continue to visit the Country to learn the Kenyan Model. After the 2018 Summit, the next summit will be in 2021 in Kisumu City, Kenya.

After the Launch of the “Transformative leadership program for County Women Executives” the Council of Governors in partnership with the Kenya School of Government and UNWomen set out to begin implementing the training curriculum of Female County officials.

The first cluster training took place on 22nd to 24th October 2018 concurrently at Chambai Hotel in Naivasha Nakuru County and Bahari Dhow Resort in Ukunda, Kwale County. The workshop was directed by the faculty members of the KSG subject specialists, experts in women leadership, stakeholders working in women leadership and empowerment programs to provide inputs in the design, content, scope and delivery of the women in leadership curriculum and build the capacity of women leaders at the County level to enable them effectively deliver in their mandate.

In addition to the expert facilitators, there were special sessions facilitated by prominent women leaders in Kenya where they shared their personal leadership stories with each 0ther encouraging the County women leaders to break barriers in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE). Guest Facilitators included Makueni’s Deputy Governor H.E. Adelina Mwau, Senior Deputy Clerk – Senate of Kenya, Consolata Waithera Munga, Wanjiku Mbugua and Betty Muthoni for the Naivasha Cluster while Kwale’s Deputy Governor H.E. Fatuma Achani, Human Resources Management expert Mary Ndetto and Former Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Jacinta Mwatela for the Kwale Cluster.

The training workshop brought together top County Leadership including Women CECs, Women Chief Officers and Women Directors from six counties, officials from the Kenya School of Government, UN Women and Council of Governors representatives

H.E Adelina Mwau, in her opening remarks expressed the need for such training workshops to be spread across the counties and that women Executives had to strive to make their presence known especially in decision making. “Women tend to extend their reproductive role into the office. In meetings we tend to serve tea, ensuring it's enough for everyone and take up other minor roles...it's good to serve but do not overdo it. Do not be too distracted by such, sit at the table where discussions are taking place and decisions being made. Avoid distractions", she said.

H.E. Fatuma Achani in her closing remarks encouraged participants to lead by example. “Ensure that you are a role model encouraging more women to pursue leadership positions. We women must ditch the current coaching culture we have been practicing and instead and instead adopt a learn/do culture where teams self-coach to ensure that women have the capacity to deliver on their mandate in whatever field” she said.

According to Consolata Waithera Munga, the County Women Executives needed the necessary tools to help them brand themselves as leaders and sustainably hold their executive position. “County women Executives need requisite skills to champion those measures that

will lead to real impact in service delivery and management of public resources including gender-responsive budgeting, planning, programming, implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation of County programs”.

The Workshop is a first in a series of 8 cluster workshops where participants are required to submit written submissions debated and deduced into actions during the plenum.

The Council of Governors participated in the 4th high-level meeting on country-led knowledge sharing (HLM4 on CLKS) between from 15th to 18th October 2018 at Inaya Putri Hotel & Resort in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting’s theme was “Local Innovation as a Driver of Global Development.”

Leadership of the Kenyan delegation was led by Hon. Hussein Dado, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ministry of Devolution and ASAL. Other delegates included; Hon Sen Prof. Samuel Ongeri, Member of Senate Education Committee and Finance Committee, Hon. Senator Mary Seneta, Member of Senate Education Committee and Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni, CEO Council of Governors.

The purpose of the event was to highlight the growing importance of local innovation as a driver of global development, and to explore how country institutions can make more strategic use of successful local experiences and innovations for systematic scaling up, domestically and internationally.

The learning objective of the Kenyan delegation of seven was two-fold. First was to learn from global experiences and innovations through workshop program and market place. Secondly, to hold bilateral meetings and learn from the experiences of Indonesia institutions in implementing decentralization, particularly focus on decentralized planning, fiscal management and accountability mechanisms.

H.E Hon. Hussein Dado, CAS Ministry of Devolution CAS represented Kenya in Session 1 high-level panel on “Institutionalizing Knowledge Sharing, Pathways to Foster Local Innovations.” Hon. Dado articulated a number of innovations that were already transforming the economy and service delivery in Kenya and beyond, including MPESA mobile money transaction innovation and Huduma Centres for rendering government services under one roof.

The CEO Council of Governors Moderated Session 2 high level panel on “Strategies for Identifying and Capturing Local Innovations.” She highlighted that Kenya had established a Performance Management Framework (PMF) for County Governments and a PMF for National Government, and that there was a clear Capacity Building Framework. The delegates however leant that the country still lacked a framework for structured knowledge sharing, as this was more confined to specific Ministries, projects, institutions and sub-sector actors. As a result, the Council of governors had established Maarifa Centre to support in coordinating structures sharing of knowledge and service delivery solutions among Counties, including peer to peer learning

The Council of Governors participated in this year’s General Assembly of the ORU Fogar on 22nd and 23rd in Rabat Morocco. The central theme of the General Assembly was “The role of the Regions in the implementation of the 3 global agendas: 2030 Agenda, The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.”
The specific forum objectives were: to utter progress of the regions’ action in the field of sustainable development, share challenges and contributions of the “territorial approach” and the role of regions and intermediate governments in addressing sustainable development issues, develop exchanges between stakeholders on ways to improve the strategic management capacity of regional governments, to discuss challenges and mechanisms for accessing the financing of actions and share potential and difficulties in implementing capacity building activities for regional leaders.

Recently, the international community adopted the three ambitious and innovative agendas which places territories/regions (County Governments) at the center of their implementation as they have a key responsibility in promoting sustainable and integrated territorial development.
The Council of Governors was represented in two panel sessions on Paris Agreement and Cultural Diversity where experience sharing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement took place with a highlight of the programmatic and legislative models Counties have adopted to confront the threat of Climate Change. It was also noted that integrating culture in the fight against climate change is very key in the long run. On Cultural Diversity, highlight of the approaches Kenya has adopted to protect national heritage took place that is the development National Culture and Heritage Policy. Additionally, development of policies in 17 Counties to address the protection of cultural identity which have been actualized through hosting of annual cultural festivals in different Counties.

During the closing ceremony, the Rabat Declaration was read out promising an ambitious plan towards advancing sustainable development of territories,

The Council of Governors led by the Chairman H.E Josphat Nanok, 16th October paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Chief Justice to discuss various matters bedeviling County Governments. Key among them was the status of designation of registries and magistrates to handle enforcement of County legislation. This follows earlier discussions on how Municipal and City Courts would transition to handle County legislation.

His Excellency, Josphat Nanok appreciates the work the Judiciary has done in supporting devolution. He noted that the Judiciary had made several pronouncements in support of the devolved system of governance. “To date, we have had more than fourteen (14) judgments against unconstitutional laws that have put devolution on track” the governor noted.

President of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice David Maraga expressed gratitude for the cordial relationship enjoyed by both parties in service delivery. The judiciary is cognizant of the fact that devolution is a major pillar in the constitutional architecture and it is indeed proper that it is protected. He encouraged Counties to participate in Court Users Committees since these are forums where many issues related to administration of justice can be canvassed.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2016 between the CoG and National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), provided a comprehensive framework on the

Administration of Justice within the context of Devolution. The meeting noted the need for regular consultations between the relevant stakeholders so that there is constant follow up on the implementation of the MoU. A similar MOU between the Judiciary and the Council of Governors was also signed to, among others, develop a collaborative mechanism to support enforcement of County legislation. They do not have registries to handle County laws and there is need therefore that the establishment of the same is urgently done.

Additionally, the meeting sought to look for ways in which fines that accrue from County legislation can be ploughed back to the County. The Council of Governors proposed that a multi-sectoral committee is set up to look at this issue and develop a revenue sharing formula on the fines from County laws. Another issue of concern was the designation of prosecutors for County laws, upon which was agreed that the Judiciary would look at this matter together with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It was noted that some Counties are facing too many land and labour cases yet such Counties do not have High Courts to handle them. It is important that High Court services are easily accessible to all citizens. A meeting with all stakeholders to unlock this challenge will be held end of October.

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