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US government to work directly with county governments

The US Ambassador to Kenya (right), Kyle McCarter paying a courtesy call to Vihiga County Governor, Dr. Wliber Ottichilo during his tour  of  the county on Monday December 16, 2019. Photo by KNA.
The US Ambassador, Kyle McCarter addressing members of public during his tour in the county on Monday December 16, 2019. Photo by KNA..
The US  Ambassador, Kyle  McCarter, Governor Wilber Ottichilo  and Vihiga County Commissioner (CC), Ochillo Oyugi  addressing members of public during the  envoy’s  tour in the  county. Photo by KNA.

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

investors’ confidence.

“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

Queens.

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

Ambassador.

By  Maurice  Aluda

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