President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the County Governments post-Covid-19 socioeconomic recovery strategy that will be implemented over a three year period.
The Kshs 132 billion recovery plan priorities agriculture, water and sanitization, urban development and housing, transport, tourism, health, education, social protection, and gender and youth as anchor sectors that will help Counties to recover from the effects of Covid-19.
At the same time, the President commissioned the construction of the 50-storey G47 Ugatuzi Tower at Hurlingham in Nairobi County. The building, which will be the tallest on the continent, will be constructed through a partnership between the Council of Governors and the County Pension Fund (CPF).
Speaking to devolution stakeholders at the launch event, also attended by Deputy President Dr William Ruto, the President said the close working relationship between Counties and the National Government had helped the country deal with Covid-19 better.
He noted that one of the positive returns from the fight against Coronavirus in the country is the strengthening of relations between the two levels of Government saying, the collaborative framework should be cascaded to other frontiers of service delivery.
“Together we have expanded our physical healthcare infrastructure, installed new and more medical equipment, recruited additional healthcare workers, upskilled our health services labour force, and deployed a testing and contact-tracing system that has been a role-model for other African nations,” the President said.
The Head of State rallied Governors to focus their collective efforts in implementing the strategy saying, Kenyans are counting on them to deliver the country from socioeconomic disruption brought about by Covid-19.
“Fellow Leaders, this is not a time for business as usual. The Strategic plans at both the County and National levels draw from limited resources, that have become even more diminished due to the socio-economic effects of the pandemic,” the President said.
He pointed out that the strategy is expected to drive real growth and economic rebound in the Counties as the National Government rolls out similar initiatives aimed at reviving the economy.
The President told Governors to exercise financial prudence when implementing the strategy and called on oversight institutions to apply heightened vigilance to ensure funds are used appropriately.
“These limited resources must be utilized strictly for the purposes of elevating our nation. They must be used faithfully, and with the utmost of transparency and accountability.
“If we waste this chance, we will certainly consign our motherland to many years of being mired in economic slowdown and social injustice,” the President said.
At the same event, the President reminded foreign agencies not to interfere with the internal workings of the country saying they will not be tolerated.
Dr Ruto said the construction of the G47 Ugatuzi Towers will help consolidate all state agencies in the devolution sector under one roof thereby enhancing their efficiency and efficacy.
“It will make it that much more easy for devolution to succeed. It will provide the paradigm shift that we have all been looking for, for the bottoms up approach to our development, than the old one of trickle down,” the Deputy President said.
Council of Governors Chairman who is also Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the financing of the Kshs 132 billion strategy will be largely be drawn from budgets of County Government over the next three financial years, supplemented by resources from development partners.
On the G47 Ugatuzi Tower, Governor Oparanya said the building is aimed at enhancing coordination of county governments activities by hosting them in one location.
“It has been our desire to enhance coordination of county governments activities under one roof. Today marks the beginning of actualization to fulfil this desire by ground-breaking a magnificent devolution headquarters which will have 50 floors to accommodate council of governors offices, county satellite offices, county assemblies forum offices and the ministry of devolution and its related state agencies,” Governor Oparanya said.
Other speakers were Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Kisumu County Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o who made a detailed presentation of the provisions in the recovery strategy.