Nairobi, 19 December 2018 – UN-Habitat and the County Government of Vihiga in Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support capacity and skills development for women and youth through youth empowerment and economic opportunity. It provides a framework for UN-Habitat and the County Government of Vihiga to promote sustainable human settlements development in Vihiga County.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, the Governor of Vihiga County Dr. Wilbur Ottichilo said, “This is a special day for our County as we are entering into a very important partnership with UN-Habitat. As a County we want to move forward, and the youth are our biggest resource, a resource we are very proud of. What we need now is to harness this human capital.”

Vihiga County has a population of 700,000 with more than 60 per cent being youth. At 2.8 per cent, the County also has the highest rate of population growth in the country. UN-Habitat and Vihiga County will work together to finalize the Vihiga Youth Policy, support establishment and accreditation of the Vihiga One Stop Youth Center, market Vihiga County as a regional economic Hub and implement the Vihiga top30under30 entrepreneurs’ awards.

“I thank you and your delegation for the interest you have shown in partnering with UN-Habitat to deliver on the sustainable urbanization and human settlements agenda in Kenya at the County level,” said Mr. Mutizwa – Mangiza. He noted that the MOU falls under the larger framework of the UN-Habitat Country Programme document for Kenya which was signed earlier this year. “The main strategic directions of that broad framework are what guide us in Kenya at the national and county levels,” he said.

The Habitat Country Programme document outlines five areas of focus as follows: improved land management and sustainably planned human settlements; improved access to quality urban services and infrastructure; access to quality and affordable housing and sustainable slum upgrading and prevention; innovation in improving urban economy, finance and youth and livelihoods; improved urban governance and resilience and capacity building and sensitization.