The US Government will in future conduct development businesses directly with county governments.
The US Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter made the remarks on Monday in Mbale town during his tour of Vihiga County where he was hosted by Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo and area County Commissioner (CC), Ochillo Oyugi.
McCarter said the US was keen to see Kenya become a benefactor for countries in East and Central Africa.
The US envoy conveyed his government’s wish to see Kenya move away from being perennial beneficiary of external aid and become a self-reliant nation.
“Kenya has the ability to be self-reliant,” he emphasized.
According to the ambassador, the devolved units were endowed with diverse natural and human resources capable of converting Kenya into a
great country in Africa and the globe as well.
“I have embarked on a tour of all the counties in order to understand the people and available natural resources that the US government is
going to work on as it strives to turn Kenya into an economic hub in East and Central Africa,” McCarter told locals at Vihiga County headquarters.
Urging Kenyans to work harder, McCarter cited primary health and water as some of the development sectors which his country was keen at
striking partnerships with county governments.
“The US government will continue to boost development friendship with the Kenya government through initiating and supporting ongoing US
funded projects and programmes aimed at improving livelihoods and living standards of the citizens,” he assured.
He praised President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying recent public
release of its report was a great milestone in the country’s devolution journey.
“Devolution is the best form of governance as it brings government projects, programmes and services closer to citizens,” he observed, adding devolution was the quickest way of addressing peoples’ needs.
He urged Kenyans to embrace and support the BBI report.
Governor Ottichilo and Commissioner Oyugi thanked the Ambassador with both promising to closely work with the US in order to spur economic growth and development in Vihiga County.
Oyugi in particular thanked the US government for its continued support of disabled groups in Luanda Sub County.
He appealed to the US to broaden the same and co-opt the rest of disabled groups in the other four sub counties.
The CC further urged the US to help the county tame the challenge of insecurity, which he blamed for scuttling external
“We urge your government to help economically viable alternative ways that will see individuals who are being rehabilitated are absorbed back to society,” the CC appealed.
He singled out sports as one of the potential sectors for investment in Vihiga.
“Vihiga is home to the leading women soccer team in Kenya,” said Oyugi in reference to the reigning national women soccer club, Vihiga
The county boss urged the US to help the county government develop youth talents through academies.
“We pray your government would consider investing in talent academies in Vihiga through this partnership,” Oyugi urged the US
By Maurice Aluda