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Interior PS calls for collaboration to enhance service delivery

Close collaboration and reflection by national and county governments will go a long way in tying up the loose ends to ensure quality service delivery to taxpayers.

The Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Internal Security and National Administration, Dr. Raymond Omollo, said Kenyans seldom give room for self-retrospection, but for government officials, this was an opportunity to step back and re-examine themselves.

The PS was speaking during capacity strengthening for the Government’s development agenda on Food and Nutrition Security at a Kisumu hotel on Thursday, where he urged stakeholders to utilise the national government administration structure for greater economic impact across the country.

The forum was attended by several colleagues, PSs, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, FAO Representative in Kenya, Carla Mucavi, Regional Commissioners, and officials from the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, among other stakeholders from Nyanza, Western, and parts of the Rift Valley.

Dr. Omollo said the two-day training sponsored by FAO was aimed at addressing food and nutrition security, a subject that lies at the very heart of our nation’s development agenda.

“Under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President William Ruto, Kenya embarked on a transformative journey through the implementation of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),” he explained.

The PS said this agenda represents a significant pivot in our national policy and development strategy, aiming to forge an equitable economic structure that prioritises the needs and potential of the majority of our citizens, particularly those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

“The essence of BETA is to promote equitable economic growth and significantly reduce inequality. It is a comprehensive strategic framework that focuses on five key high-impact sectors that are crucial to achieving our national objectives,” he explained.

The sectors include agriculture, dedicated to enhancing food security and productivity through robust support for our smallholder farmers and the strengthening of agricultural value chains, he noted.

BETA also prioritised Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a focus on bolstering the MSME sector to create sustainable jobs and improve livelihoods across the nation, the PS added, pointing out that the third sector is Affordable Housing, where the Government’s aim is to increase access to housing and improve the living conditions for its people.

The other sector is Universal Healthcare, where we are committed to strengthening our healthcare system to ensure that all Kenyans have access to quality medical services, the PS said.

Finally, he noted, BETA focuses on the Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy, which seek to unlock new avenues for economic growth and job creation by promoting our digital infrastructure and creative industries.

“These pillars collectively aim to lower the cost of living, eradicate hunger, create employment opportunities, and foster inclusive growth. They align with and are integral to Kenya’s Fourth Medium Term Plan for 2023–2027,” Dr. Omollo stated.

To ensure the successful implementation of BETA, significant coordination through national development structures has been essential, he said, adding, “President Ruto established the National Development and Implementation Committees, including the Governance and Public Administration Sub-Committee to spearhead the agenda.”

The Sub-Committee is composed of diverse ministries and parastatals dedicated to integrating BETA’s principles into government operations and aligning them with both county and national government development plans.

“Our Sub-committee, which I am privileged to be part of, is composed of dedicated public servants from various sectors, including PSs for Performance and Delivery Management, Devolution, Cabinet Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, East Africa Community Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Diaspora Affairs, Immigration, Correctional, Defense and Solicitor General,” he reiterated.

He said they were committed to identifying and managing risks associated with development projects and promoting accountability to build trust among stakeholders, including the public and development partners.

Moreover, he added, they are dedicated to promoting inter-governmental relations in line with the provisions of our Constitution and are tasked with collaborating, cooperating, and consulting with County Governments to ensure a whole-government approach.

“We are redefining project execution and evaluation, ensuring timely decisions that keep projects moving forward effectively. On the ground, our Regional and County Implementation Coordination and Management Committees are diligently working to enhance the coordination of these  projects,” he told the attentive audience.

Their efforts ensure that all stakeholders are engaged throughout the project cycle, increasing both the visibility and relevance of our interventions.

“We greatly appreciate the partnership of FAO in supporting our food security initiatives, a cornerstone of the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto and a top priority for our administration,” explained the PS.

“We look forward to showcasing the impact of projects like the Otati Water project in Migori County, which benefits over 350 households and supports thousands of livestock,” the PS said.

However, Dr. Omollo said the team’s work was far from complete. BETA advocates for a value chain approach where infrastructure, such as that provided by the Otati Water Dam, must be complemented by investments that support irrigation and water provision, thereby enabling communities to thrive in food production.

This project has the potential to significantly advance small enterprise development within the agri-food sector.

While on the development tour in Nyanza, the team would also get to appreciate the Marine School in Kisumu, recently accredited and offering courses that give critical skills to the youth to take advantage of Lake Victoria; Migori County Headquarters, which has stalled for many years; Homabay Pier/Fish Market, which will support the key economic activity of fishing in the region; Homabay Affordable Housing Project; and Tom Mboya University.

He appealed to the participants to renew their commitment to not only continue these efforts but to also resolve any bottlenecks that may impede progress so as to redefine the future of the nation and ensure a prosperous, secure, and healthy Kenya for all.

By Joseph Ouma

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