Since 2018, UN-Habitat has been collaborating with Cities Alliance to implement the Joint Work Programme (JWP) for Equitable Economic Growth in cities campaign in Kenya’s Nyandarua County. The 24 months’ initiative is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through Cities Alliance, and Kenya is the fourth country to benefit from the programme after Ghana, Uganda, and Bangladesh.
Consequently, a workshop was held on 13th November,2019 as a follow up to the kick off workshop held in September 2018. This week’s meeting was aimed at getting feedback from the local community and county heads on the findings from the Local Assessment Report (LAR). The meeting was also a follow up to a previous meeting held to sign a memorandum of understanding between the three entities (Cities Alliance, UN-Habitat and Nyandarua County) to support acquisition of potential funding for the projects that will be agreed upon during the workshops.
The Programme has been focusing on working locally to identify as well as facilitate knowledge and concrete interventions that will promote equitable economic growth within the county through equitable access to public goods and services by all citizens including the formal and informal businesses.
The Programme is currently at the assessment stage of the preparation of the Local Assessment Report (LAR) whose objective is to have a local project that support economic development.
UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance teams visited Nyandarua County for a mid-term review workshop for public participation to discuss and validate data towards the LAR report. As well as facilitate a coordinated and focused effort to promote the creation of an enabling environment so that the counties can tap into agglomeration economies as well as promote local investment and innovation.
Speaking at the workshop in Nyandarua, Mr. Keith Tatenda Mudadi, Urban Programme Analyst from Cities Alliance, noted that the progress made so far is impressive and a good step towards reaching the projected goals.
“The contributions coming out of the discussions were very rich. Going back to the community ensures that the -solutions are received directly from those who have a better understanding of their priorities and challenges. Engaging communities directly through this bottom up approach allows us to work together to come up with action plans that promote equitable economic growth in cities. Cities Alliance is in the process of designing a second phase of the JWP on Equitable Economic Growth, which will focus on investments in public infrastructure, among other priorities, to improve lives of the communities. This fits perfectly with the current idea of developing a Wholesale Market and Logistic Centre in Nyandarua ” he said.
At UN-Habitat, the programme is led by the Urban Economy and Finance Branch and implemented with the Regional Office for Africa; the Urban Planning and Design Branch, Advocacy and Communication department. On his part, the acting coordinator of the Urban Economy and Finance Branch Mr. Marco Kamiya said : “ We are facilitators, we don’t have the formula to solve every problem, but we assist in making sure the discussions are moved from discussions into planning and investment proposal”
The First Lady of Nyandarua County, Mrs. Ann. T. Kimemia said, “I am delighted to be in this workshop today and hear all the great feedback, without the collaborations and togetherness that we have here, we cannot achieve anything. The county needs the people and the people need the county to move.”
The Deputy Governor of Nyandarua County Ms. Cecilia Mbuthia officially opened the meeting by saying, “it is a great pleasure to join the stakeholder’s forum that not only seeks to create ownership, but equally draw great lessons from the people who are the primary beneficiaries of this project. This workshop is allowing candid discussions on how we as Nyandarua County can plan, manage and have ownership of our towns and markets and the ripple effect will show in the socio-economic development that will be experienced by the people of Nyandarua County, its environs and the country of Kenya.”
Mr. Lawrence Mukundi, CEC Lands and Physical Planning Nyandarua county echoed the sentiments when he thanked Cities Alliance and UN-Habitat for choosing to work with and subsequently coming to Nyandarua county and reiterated that they are looking forward to the second phase in 2020.