The 3rd Devolution Conference assesses decentralisation in Kenya

Third Annual Devolution Conference

The 47 Kenyan counties held between the 19th and the 23rd of April the third edition of the Devolution Conference, the annual national meeting devoted to addressing the situation of the decentralisation constitutional process initiated in Kenya in 2013. The conference was organised by the Kenyan Council of Governors and took place in the Meru Technical Training Institute, in the County of Meru.

Untitled “The Promise Of Devolution: Consolidating The Gains After Transition And Looking Into The Future”, the meeting focused on the evaluation of the results achieved and the challenges still pending since the beginning of the process. More than fifteen thematic rounds dealt with the main needs that the country must take into account to maintain the Devolution, with a focus on health and water. The Governors and other participants (more than 5,000 people) shared experiences and, overall, assessed the process positively and concurred that in a short period of time, remarkable results have been obtained.  

However, the regional leaders denounced the lack of funds and used the conference as a lobbying tool to claim for more resources. The Chairman of the Council of Governors and Governor of the Meru County, Peter Munya, expressed concern over the National Government’s trend towards recentralising the resources allocated to the counties: “Devolution is a will of the people. It is the central pillar of the Constitution. Therefore, fiscal decentralization is a constitutional obligation, and should be done in full respect of the same Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act.”

 

An exemplary process

All matters discussed in the Third Annual Devolution Conference are reflected in 18 agreements approved in order to consolidate the decentralisation process and strengthen the powers of the counties. At its end, the Chairman Munya described the meeting as a success and announced that next year’s edition will be held in either the county of Kericho or Narok. 

In fact, the Devolution process has been qualified in several occasions as a benchmark for decentralisation in the world. In ORU Fogar’s VII World Summit of Regional Governments held in Rio de Janeiro a few days before the Kenyan Conference (and in which the Council of Governors took part as members of our organisation), the participating regions shared an admiration for the Kenyan process. And likewise ORU Fogar participated in the previous edition of the Annual Devolution Conference, which took place in the Kisumu County in April 2015.

 

Related content: 

Statement by Peter Munya on the allocation of resources to the counties. Council of Governors of Kenya  

 

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