Home > Counties > Committee finalizes DevCon 2023 preparations

Committee finalizes DevCon 2023 preparations

The steering committee tasked with preparations to ensure the success of the first biennial devolution conference to be held in Eldoret Uasin Gishu in the next month says the readiness status now stands at 98 percent.

The committee encompasses the Council of Governors (CoG), Speaker of the Senate, County Assembly’s Forum, the State Department for Devolution, which is under the office of the Deputy President, and the National Security and Intelligence Committee, among others.

Addressing the media after presiding over the meeting to assess the level of preparedness by the host county in Eldoret, State Department for Devolution Principal Secretary Teresa Mbaika affirmed national government’s strong commitment to supporting the host county government to ensure the international event is a success.

“Just to confirm the commitment of the office of the Deputy President and the national government in the preparation of this event, different departments of the national government are on the ground to ensure different work is done across different sectors for the success of this important conference, which is about two weeks away,” she said.

Principal Secretary, State Department for Devolution Teresa Mbaika during a press briefing in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu on Friday, July 28, 2023.

The PS indicated that proper measures have been put in place and different work is being done by the two levels of government because the conference is an opportunity for the devolution family to come together to look at the gains and assess the current status and future of devolution.

She added that the State Department for Devolution and the Office of the Deputy President are working together through consultation and cooperation with the county government to ensure the success of the conference.

She lauded the Council of Governors (CoG) and its technical team for work well done and Uasin Gishu county government for the good work and commitment, noting that everything would be set when the day comes.

CoG Vice Chairperson, who is also Wajir’s Governor Abdullahi Ahmed, said that they had the steering committee meeting to appraise their preparedness and they were happy to report that they had made very good progress in readiness for the historic event.

He noted that all the major issues were set and that only a few, which he hoped would be completed by next week, remained.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved and in particular our host governor and his team. They have done a great job in preparation for the conference. It was a meeting to appraise our preparedness; we also received briefs from the sector leads,” said Ahmed.

He confirmed that the conference would host about 10,000 guests and that about 4,000 people have already registered, adding that the number was expected to rise to between 7,000 and 8,000 in two weeks.

Local leaders are calling on Kenyans to register in numbers as they urge the local business community to ensure they have enough capacity to accommodate the expected huge number of guests.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Chelilim praised the event as historic and of numerous benefits, especially for the people of Uasin Gishu and the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) counties, noting that they have put proper measures in place for the success of the international event.

In his remarks, County Assemblies Forum representative, who is also County Assembly Speaker for Elgeyo Marakwet Philemon Sabulei, said that the forum stands with the CoG during the preparation of the significant event.

“I want to communicate that all the county assemblies will be adjourned during that particular week to ensure that we have full attendance of the speakers and all the members of the county assemblies,” he said.

He noted that county assemblies, being part of the family of devolution, take pride in this kind of conference because it is out of such events that all counties have an opportunity to have one forum to share the experiences of devolution for the last 10 years of its execution, look into the successes and challenges and find ways to deepen and grow devolution.

“On behalf of all the speakers and county assemblies, all the Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) across this country, we want to express our support and our commitment to make devolution work and to support CoG and all the governors during this event in Uasin Gishu,” said Sabulei.

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago noted that the conference presents a golden opportunity to look at devolution 10 years down the line and draw up the future roadmap of devolution in terms of improving service delivery to the citizenry.

“The biennial DevCon is so critical to the devolution family that it offers the opportunity to citizens across the nation to criticise what has been done in devolution for the last 10 years and with that criticism, help devolution go forward in the next 10 years and shape the response that will be needed in order for the services to improve at the county level,” he said.

The Senator encouraged businesspeople, youth and innovators to make sure they get the opportunity to display their technological innovations. He proposed that youth, women and People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) be given booths at subsidised cost to enable them to afford the opportunity to exhibit to the nation what they make as a county.

“We have a golden opportunity to grow this city for business. This is an opportunity for us as a county to market this county as a serious investment destination. Being the fastest-growing town in the country and being a town that will shortly become a city, we need to utilise this opportunity,” said Mandago.

Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Dr. Eddyson Nyale assured the public of sufficient security for people and property during the devolution conference.

He said the national security and county security teams have been carrying out intensified patrols to ensure Eldoret town and its surroundings are peaceful and calm ahead of the devolution conference.

By Ekuwam Sylvester

Leave a Reply