The 4th Devolution Conference calls for more funds for the Kenyan counties

4th Annual Devolution Conference

The latest edition of the annual conference focused on analysing the impact of decentralisation on the life of Kenya’s citizens  

From 7 to 9 March, the 47 Kenyan counties held the fourth and last Devolution Conference, the national annual meeting to discuss the constitutional decentralisation process initiated in the country in 2013. This year, the Council of Governors of Kenya held the conference in the Nakuru County, at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute of Naivasha. 

Untitled “Devolution Transforming Lives: Tell your story!”, the meeting was conceived as a platform for sharing stories related to the process in Kenya and analysing how it has worked in each of the territories, as well as its impact on the life of Kenyan citizens. Progress has been detected on key sectors such as education, health, transport and agriculture, as well as an improvement in infrastructures and great empowerment of Young people, amongst other things. The round table dedicated to the economic and entrepreneurial transformation revealed greatest attraction of foreign investment in the country. 

However, the meeting concluded with a strong demand from the governors to the State: more funds for the counties. More specifically, an increase of 30%. The regional leaders pressured the Senate to amend Article 203 of the Constitution to increase the allocated funds to 45% of national income (the Constitution currently provides for 15%). They reported in a joint communiqué that such low allocations have prevented the smooth functioning of some decentralised sectors in the country, like health, libraries, roads and agriculture. This is why they asked the Senate “to legislate on this field to ensure at least 45% of the previous year’s total collected revenues”. 

The last Devolution

Another conclusion of the conference was the need to accelerate the actual implementation of decentralisation, as four years later is still facing many challenges: "state agencies, corporations and regional development authorities need to be restructured to align them with the decentralised governance system". This fourth edition was the last Devolution Conference that the Council of Governors will organise to follow up the process, before carrying out a survey in August to analyse the gains made in the last four years. 



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