Nakuru is among eight counties that will benefit from a Sh50 billion (USD500 million) initiative by the USAid, that seeks to spur development in the devolved units.
The initiative dubbed “Prosper Counties Initiative” targets Isiolo, Kakamega, Mombasa, Makueni, Kiambu, Kisii, Kisumu and Nakuru.
The project, according to USAid Kenya Mission Director Mark Meassick, will involve areas of collaboration in trade, investment, devolution as well as working with the civil society in counties to enhance good governance.
“USAid spends about USD500 million in Kenya annually and we are keen to support devolution through projects and capacity building with the aim of accelerating development and self-reliance,” said Mr Meassick.
He said USAid seeks to work with counties directly to avoid delays in implementation of various projects.
On Tuesday, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, accompanied by a group of senior county officials, held a meeting with USAid Kenya mission officials, to discuss areas of collaboration within the county.
WORK WITH PARTNERS
Mr Kinyanjui said his administration will continue working with local and international partners and donors to spur development.
“USAid and Nakuru will soon sign a memorandum of understanding before the projects kick off. Organisations awarded grants through the Prosper Counties Initiative (PCI) will be accountable to both USAid and the county government to ensure there is no duplication of projects,” he said.
The county boss said the project will target youth development and empowerment programmes, small scale farmers and businesses among other projects that will positively impact on residents.
The initiative will also fund projects in the water, agriculture, sanitation, health and education in the targeted counties.
PROSPER AFRICA INITIATIVE
PCI is part of a deal signed between the US and Kenya under President Donald Trump’s “Prosper Africa” initiative.
Already, Nakuru is working with USAid in a bid to revitalise the vibrant flower industry in the region as it eyes a larger share of the US cut flower market to promote exports and boost earnings.
In September 2018, USAid signed a grant with the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) with the goal of increasing Kenya’s share of the US market for cut flowers by December 2021.
USAid and Nakuru County are working jointly with KFC to raise exports by boosting the visibility of Kenyan flowers in the US market.
Naivasha in Nakuru is Kenya's floriculture heartland and home to leading flower firms including Oserian on the shores of Lake Naivasha and the ailing Karuturi which used to export at least a million stems a day in its vibrant years.
Others in Nakuru include Fontana Flowers Limited, Alisha (Mau Flora Ltd) and Agriflora Kenya Limited among others.