Devolution Conference: 10 Years of Progress and Future Possibilities


By Meresia Aloo

The Council of Governors (CoG) recently concluded the 8th Devolution Conference, which unfolded from August 15th to 19th in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

Themed ’10 Years of Devolution: The Present and the Future,’ the conference gathered delegates from around the world to discuss strategies for enhancing service delivery and economic growth at the local level.

The sub-theme, ‘Driving Transformation from the Local Level: County Governments as the Centre of Economic Development,’ underscored the role of county administrations in shaping the country’s economic trajectory.

At the heart of the event was the shared commitment to reflect on the achievements of the past decade and explore innovative methodologies to strengthen governance systems, thereby boosting transformational service delivery in Kenya’s various counties.

The conference served as a platform for robust discussions, the exchange of best practices, and the identification of solutions to address critical challenges faced by sub-national governments.

The conference kicked off with a spirited curtain-raiser event that saw the participation of governors and veteran athletes in a 5-kilometer race at the renowned Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret.

The curtain-raiser symbolized the unity of purpose in examining the progress made over the last decade since the establishment of the two-tier governance system.

Governor Jonathan Bii of Uasin Gishu County and Governor George Natembea of Trans Nzoia County led by example, completing the race with their fellow participants.

Governor Bii, during his address, asserted that devolution transcends mere political or administrative significance.

He characterized the current system as an essential foundation for Kenya’s national growth and development.

He emphasized that the principles of democracy, inclusivity, and grassroots governance are embodied within the devolved units of governance.

Governor Bii further elaborated on the transformative impact of devolution in sectors like infrastructure, health, and agriculture.

He highlighted the success of initiatives such as the school feeding program, which led to a remarkable increase in pupil enrollment, and the establishment of industrial parks and export processing zones, set to generate employment opportunities and attract investments.

This year’s conference stood as a testament to the remarkable strides made in nurturing these principles and the collective commitment to steering Kenya toward greater prosperity through the devolution of power and resources.

The event concluded with the understanding that devolution remains instrumental in driving Kenya’s socio-economic advancement.

The 8th Devolution Conference adds to a series of successful events hosted across the country.

As the Council of Governors, in collaboration with various stakeholders, continues to foster the growth of devolution, it remains committed to the implementation of resolutions arising from these conferences.

Following the spirit of collaboration, the conference series is hosted every two years, allowing partners ample time to enact the resolutions that emanate from these discussions

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