Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o has asked regional leaders from the Kingdom of Morocco to attend the 9th Africities Summit slated for May 17th to 21st in Kisumu County.
In a press statement issued by the Governor’s Press Unit Director, Aloice Ager, Prof Nyong’o addressed the General Assembly of Moroccan Association of Local Government Presidents in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Nyong’o said the Africities conference will prove to the world that intermediate cities have what it takes to get Africa on top of the globe.
“Kisumu is ready, Kenya is ready, let us congregate in Kisumu city to celebrate the emergence of Africa’s intermediary cities and begin the journey to the acceleration of the implementation of the Sustainable and Development Goals and the African Union agenda of realization of Africa we want,” declared the Kisumu county boss.
Nyong’o further lauded the impressive show when he visited Morocco during the 8th Africities Summit in 2018 and assured the assembly that Kisumu was ready to do better and set higher standards.
“We were immensely impressed by the standards set here for the Summit by this Regional Government. As we lay the ground for a similar if the not better event from the 17th to 21st May this year, I want to convey warm welcome to all of you and your delegations to Kisumu for the Summit,” stated the governor.
He appreciated efforts by the United Cities and Local Government-Africa Secretary-General, Jean Pierra Elong Mbassi, whom he said played a key role in ensuring the delegation from Kenya attended the General Assembly describing him as the champion of decentralization of Africa.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank our dear friend, the champion of decentralization of Africa, Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, for helping facilitate our presence here and to address you. The path trodden by Mbassi is not for the faint-hearted, I salute him,” said Nyong’o.
In his address, the Governor also added that the concept of autonomous local and regional governments has not been well embraced across Africa and the kind of Advocacy championed by UCLG Africa was important, in creating an environment of listenership at the continental and world leadership fora.
The outgoing President of the Assembly, Khaled Badra, lauded the Kisumu Governor for his commitment and dedication alongside his county government and Kenyan government in their efforts to ensure Kisumu broke the ceiling to become the first intermediary city to host the international event lifting the name of Africa’s decentralized governments.
“This event is not just about Kisumu, but the role and capacity of the Local Governments of Africa in showing the world that they have come to age and play their role in creating a better Africa for all,” acknowledged Badra.
Nyong’o said that signing agreements were key in building partnerships and ensuring good. “We are here to make friends and forge partnerships. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for fostering cooperation in various economic spheres and to share experiences in an economic footprint that has taken root in your country as well as to help consolidate the south-south relations which are very dear to the leadership of our countries,” said the Governor.
This comes after the County Government of Kisumu signed a bilateral treaty with the Regional Council of Rabat-Sale-Nitrate following in the footsteps of the County Government of Mombasa that entered into a similar deal with the Regional Council of Tangier.
Nyong’o noted that bilateral agreements were not only strengthening developments of decentralization but also helping the local governments create a more united, stronger Africa, urging the Morocco leaders to make a stronger UCLGA.
By Peter K’opiyo and Derrick Wesley