Governors will use this year’s devolution conference to realign their development programme with the government’s “Big Four” agenda.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda on food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing is set to be a key feature when the county bosses meet in Kakamega County from April 23 to 27.
Governors have said the ability to fulfil the agenda was highly dependent on meaningful partnerships and the level of cooperation between the national and county governments.
Most of the “Big Four” agenda items fall under shared functions with policy formulation left to the national government while execution and implementation falls under the county governments.
The annual forum will be held against a backdrop of questions about the implementation of recommendations and resolutions made in previous conferences. Most of the recommendations are yet to be implemented due to a prolonged electioneering period in 2017 when governors were elected.
Key resolutions made during last year’s meeting were that all conditional grants must directly be disbursed to the County Revenue Fund without being channelled through any line ministry.
The governors also agreed to have intergovernmental institutions strengthened to act independently.
A recommendation was also made for county governments to deepen mechanisms for public participation in planning processes.
To fight hunger, the county bosses agreed there was need to allocate adequate resources for small-scale irrigation, mechanisation and extension sources since real transformation will be driven by smallholder farmers.
Council of Governors vice chairperson Anne Waiguru said they were planning on the logistics of the conference.
“This conference will also be an opportunity for all the stakeholders to identify opportunities for partnership with the national and county governments,” she said.
Ms Waiguru, who is also the Kirinyaga governor, said the County Governments Act states that counties should facilitate a nexus between their plans and the national planning framework.
“We will focus on sectorial issues unlike in other conferences where we have one plenary session that runs throughout and have four sessions focusing on the key areas,” she said.