Kenya is set to hold the 9th Afri Cities Summit scheduled between 17 to 21 May 2022 in Kisumu County. This will be a historic summit as it will be the first one to be held in an intermediary city outside the Capital Cities of Africa.
This is the talking point in the ongoing United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) regional Caucus for the Eastern Africa Region being held in Nairobi, Kenya in collaboration with the Council of Governors (COG) of Kenya.
The Caucus brings together the chairperson and permanent secretaries of the national association of sub-national and local governments of East Africa countries as well the chairperson of the country chapters of the Network of Female mayors and Leaders of sub-national and local governments of the Region and a representative of young elected officials aged 35 and below.
Speaking during the official opening of the summit, Cabinet Secretary for Defense Eugene Wamalwa siad Kenya has been implementing the Devolved System of Government since 2013. During its nine years of implementation, the country has witnessed more robust development at the grassroots as each County is able to plan and budget for its most pressing development priorities. In addition, residents also feel a sense of ownership of their government due to the various public participation initiatives.
“During this period, various delegations from Africa and other parts of the World have visited Kenya to benchmark on Devolution. The delegates therefore have a better opportunity to learn from one another as all the 47 County Governments will be participating in the 9th Summit of Afri Cities. This will give them a chance to compare notes on what is working as they come up with modalities on how to replicate the best practices in their own localities,” he averred.
He added that “Kenya has four Cities: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru. Nairobi is the Capital City, while the three are intermediary Cities. Kisumu, will be hosting the 9th Afri Cities Summit. Just like Kenya, I believe most of our cities are intermediary ones. There is thus need for the Summit to deliberate on the financing of urban areas to enable them to effectively deliver services to the urban population, including those who live in informal sectors.”
Speaking in the same event, Kisumu governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o reitereated that the upcoming 9th edition of the Africities Summit is not only for Kisumu or Kenya but for the whole region. He urged all concerned partners to arise as a family to lay out the red carpet to receive the guests in May.
“We can only do this if we as a region, register more delegates for the summit than any other region or delegations. As a government, we remain eternally grateful to UCLG-Africa and the its entire membership, for the honour and confidence bestowed in Kisumu City to be the very first intermediary city to host this premier event. I am confident that the success of this summit will open the door to other intermediary cities in future to host this event. We look forward to congregating in another secondary city for the 10th Summit, ” he noted.
He added that “On behalf of the Chairman of the Council of Governors and the forty seven county governments, let me extend a warm welcome to all the delegates to Nairobi, Kenya. While in Kenya please don’t forget to visit our tourist attraction sites such as the Nairobi National Park as you enjoy Kenya’s hospitality.”