Fifth Devolution Conference Kicks Off in Kakamega
The official opening ceremony will be on Tuesday 24th to be inaugurated by President Uhuru Kenyatta while the closing will follow two days later officiated by the Deputy President.
The President is anticipated to be among the panelists in the high-level engagement on inter-governmental relations, others being Chief Justice David Maraga, Speakers Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka, Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok and UK High Commissioner & Chairperson, Devolution Donor Working Group, H.E. Nic Hailey.
Focusing on President Uhuru’s Big Four agenda of healthcare, affordable housing, industrialisation and agriculture, participants will break into sector sessions after the general plenums every day where they shall discuss cross-cutting issues like intergovernmental relations, human resource management, good governance & accountability, and budgeting & resource allocation.
Moreover, issues related to gender, youth, women, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups shall be key during the entire conference sessions.
During a meeting with the western leaders earlier, Devolution and ASALs CS Eugene Wamalwa promised that the county was ready to host the four-day forum and noted that most services will be provide by the locals for them to enjoy the gains of hosting the conference.
Wamalwa added that the three-day running programme conference is expected to cost Ksh 200 million with each of the 47 counties has contributed Ksh 2million for dignitaries’ accommodation.
Operators of the hotel industry in the Western region are the major reapers from the event having nearly all the hotels fully booked in Kakamega, Kisumu and Bungoma for about 6,000 delegates a week prior to the conference enriching Lake Region Economic Bloc.
Participants of the conference are representatives from National Government, County Governments and their officials, independent offices, constitutional commissions, civil society organizations, media, religious institutions, professional bodies, international experts, development partners, academia, private sector practitioners and sub-national government associations from the region and the world as stated by the Council of Governors.
The host, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, gladly welcomed all to his county as he cited that Devolution plays a critical role in fostering national unity.
He however highlighted pressing challenges including delays in disbarment of funds which hopefully shall be tackled within the three-day delegations.