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Nandi County signs MoU with partners on open governance

Nandi County has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with non-State actors on the implementation of the Nandi Open Governance Partnership (OGP) Action Plan as a statutory mandate to involve the public in all decisions.

The MoU signed will see Nandi County actualize its commitments to fostering open governance, including public participation and civic engagement, open contracting and public procurement and the commitment to provide access to information for transparency, accountability and responsiveness.

Partners incorporated in the initiative include Hivos, Mzalendo Trust, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), National Taxpayers Association (NTA), not limited to Open Governance Institute (OGI) and the Nandi County Civil Society Network.

Nandi County Deputy Governor Dr. Yulita Mitei said the MoU with the partners will help Nandi expand its mandate on the already signed commitments on the open governance Action Plan.

She also said that they have identified gaps which derail the achievement of OGP in the area of public participation which came into play with the 2010 Constitution.

“The partnership collectively amounts to Sh20 million and it will help our technical team on open governance in training and capacity building so that we will engage very well with the public,” added Mitei.

She also added that the County has managed to come up with a call centre to enable the County to communicate with the general public to engage meaningfully while keeping the County Government in check.

Nandi County joined the OGP in 2020 being among the four pioneering County Governments in Kenya and over 70 local governments globally to affirm its commitment to strengthen government openness, efficiency and accountability.

The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more accountable, inclusive and responsive to the citizens they serve.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU, Hivos (East Africa) Regional Director Ms. Mendi Njonjo said the move will allow people of Nandi to have clear understanding of where funds are received, understand public procurement as well as set the stage for effective public participation.

“It is not just important for Nandi but also nationally and globally because OGP is trying to encourage and work with County Governments to serve their citizens without being compelled and ensure that their actions are open to the public,” said Njonjo.

She lauded the County of Nandi for championing OGP in the region and for being voted the second best globally in terms of open governance in the 2021 People’s Choice Awards.

The Open Government Partnership was formally launched in September, 2011 by former US President Barack Obama when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States) endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced their countries’ action plans.

By Benard Tanui

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