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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya launches US $500 million dollars programs
to enhance service delivery in counties

KAKAMEGA (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday launched two programs that will see his government inject 500 million U.S. dollars as performance-based conditional grants to boost the capacity of county governments to deliver quality services to Kenyans.

Kenyatta said the adoption of the Kenya Devolution Support Program and the Kenya Urban Support Program demonstrates his government’s commitment to a devolution that truly works and serves every Kenyan.

“Both, combined, will inject 50 billion shillings (500 million dollars) into your county governments, to help you build and improve the systems that support your staff, and your delivery of services,” he said in a televised address delivered during the opening of the 5th Annual Devolution Conference in Kakamega in Western Kenya.

Kenyatta lauded the success of devolution, saying more than 10 billion U.S. dollars was transferred to counties to take essential services closer to the people in the last five years.

He said the successful implementation of the devolved system of government has proved many “doubting Thomases” wrong.

The president observed that eight years ago when the country ushered in a new constitutional dispensation, few could have imagined that Kenyans would today be celebrating five transformative years of devolution.

“There are, indeed, many doubting Thomases out there, who did not expect a democracy as young as ours to so effectively manage the most fundamental change in our governance since independence,” he said.

“But to the surprise of many, in a short period of five years, we have firmly established a new tier of government, and held two sets of elections to it,” Kenyatta added.

Kenyatta warned against complacency even as he praised the success of devolution, saying there is still a long way to go in truly realizing the development goals set under the country’s Vision 2030 blueprint.

The president underlined the need to utilize the five years of experience to build on the next phase of devolved government.

He called for close consultation, coordination and better communication between the two levels of government to ensure continued success of devolution.

           

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