Nairobi roots for development partnership with US cities

The United States acting Ambassador to Kenya Eric Kneedler and Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu have said that there is need for Nairobi to continue working closely with the US.

The two have agreed that Nairobi can benefit a lot from partnerships related to climate change, innovation and security.

The US envoy has said that Nairobi has made great tremendous strides in its disaster management programs and security across the Capital City.

Mr. Kneedler, who paid a courtesy call to theacting Nairobi boss Ann Kananu on Tuesday, also lauded the county’s efforts in improving its service delivery especially in the informal settlements.

He noted that the establishment of the new Gigiri fire station and improved security surveillance around the US embassy is an indicator of significant steps being undertaken to improve security and disaster management preparedness.

US acting Ambassador to Kenya Eric Kneedler, Nairobi county acting Governor Ann Kananu, County Secretary Jairus Musumba at Cityhall on May 11th2021. The US ambassador complimented the county on improved services, especially the establishment of the new Gigiri fire station and security around the embassy. Kneedler asks the county to foster digital innovations and on matters climate change, far end Left is Charles Kerich County executive committee member for housing and lands/ GPS

“We have seen significant and milestone achievements in recent years in projects like the fire station in Gigiri and generally efforts to improve service delivery to the people,” Kneedler noted.

He added that the US will continue to be a key partner to Kenya and Nairobi in particular.

He further challenged the county to invest more in digital innovations and policies geared towards climate change.

On her part, Ms Kananu said that Nairobi will continue working hard to remain a friendly city to investors and encouraged the US business community to explore various investment opportunities within the county’s development agenda.

“We appreciate the good cooperation between Kenya and the US, and the support that the US has offered Nairobi as one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. The US and its citizens should not shy away from expressing interest in working with us,” Kananu said.

Her sentiments were echoed by acting county secretary Jairus Musumba, who added that the reason why devolution came into place is to benefit locals.

“We have seen several advantages brought forward by devolution. We want to assure our people that it’s our role to provide quality services,” he said

County Executive Committee Member for Housing and Lands Charles Kerich said that the county needs more investors like other cities in the World.

Kerich noted that despite years of cooperation, Nairobi is yet to have serious business-related conversations with its twin cities in the US. He said that Nairobi is looking forward to serious investment from the US.

US acting Ambassador to Kenya Eric Kneedler with Nairobi county acting Governor Ann Kananu, at Cityhall on May 11th2021. The US ambassador complimented the county on improved services, especially the establishment of the new Gigiri fire station and security around the embassy. Kneedler asks the county to foster digital innovations and on matters climate change/ GPS

He said that Nairobi has ongoing ambitious projects in the housing sector and US investors should show interests.

“We want to see more interest from American companies to invest in Nairobi and that is our area of concern, so we are looking forward to serious investment from the US,” Kerich said

Mr. Larry Wambua, the CECM Environment, Energy, Water and Natural Resources assured the US delegation that Nairobi is working on a policy bill and regulations on climate change.

Last year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $50 million to support Kenya’s response and recovery efforts to meet the immediate and longer-term challenges that COVID-19 is posing.

The new acting envoy challenged Nairobi to explore more opportunities in digital innovation and climate change, the two parties agreed that there is need for more extensive talks to work on modalities of how the US twin cities and Nairobi can work together in order to improve living standards of Nairobians.

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