May 13, 2024

Funding Devolution in Kenya: Current Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Juliet Hinga

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On Wednesday, 15th May 2024, we hosted the Funding Devolution Conference, a dynamic gathering of more than 50 stakeholders from government agencies, private sector entities, and development partners. The Policy Symposium, themed “Current Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities,” aimed to foster a comprehensive dialogue on Kenya’s devolution progress and its implications for equitable development in the country.

Dr. Mathuva, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Strathmore University Business School Kenya, set the tone with his opening remarks, emphasizing the collaborative efforts needed among all devolution stakeholders to fully harness their potential. This sentiment echoed throughout the symposium, underscoring the imperative of collective action in realizing the promises of devolution.

Dr. Abraham Rugo, the Director, IBP challenged attendees to recognize that devolution’s success hinges not solely on county governance but also on public engagement and ownership. He urged the public to embrace their roles as champions of devolution, highlighting its pivotal role in improving public services and fostering equitable development.

Senator Prof. Margaret Kamar further emphasized the significance of devolution in unlocking the potential of service delivery. She called for the allocation of adequate funds and the successful transfer of functions to county governments, empowering them to better serve citizens and drive inclusive growth.

The  panel session delved into critical issues surrounding debt management in the context of devolution. Mr. Kithinji Kiragu, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee, stressed the transformative potential of devolution, asserting that Kenya’s socio-economic trajectory would accelerate significantly if devolution is effectively implemented.

Looking ahead, the symposium identified areas for improvement, including enhancing integrity and increasing private sector participation. There was a consensus on the importance of engaging the private sector as key stakeholders in resource mobilization and driving sustainable development initiatives.

The Symposium served as a platform for robust discourse and collective strategizing towards advancing devolution in Kenya. By fostering collaboration, promoting public engagement, and leveraging private sector involvement, stakeholders are poised to propel Kenya towards a future of equitable development and prosperity.

About the Strathmore Institute of Public Policy and Governance (SIPPG).

Article by Juliet Hinga

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