As Abu Dhabi prepares to host the World Urban Forum in February this year, Kenya is in top gear putting forward a national conversation to drive the urbanization agenda.
Several stakeholders led by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure James Macharia and Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o converged at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu County to discuss and agree on a national position to be presented at the World Forum.
The National Urban Forum provides a platform for stakeholders to review progress made in addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization, and its impact on communities, cities, economies, and climate change.
The Consultative forum brings together like minded stakeholders and experts in the fields of housing and human settlements, providing them with an opportunity to share experiences and best practices, as well as to forge and strengthen partnerships in promoting sustainable urbanization and human settlements.
Governor Nyong’o while giving his keynote address to the delegates, noted that the forum is a good precursor to the Africities Summit to be held in Kisumu in November 2021 as it lays ground for proper planning and urban development as well as providing opportunity for comparative discussions on how best to do it.
He mentioned two very important aspects of urban development that is; having an environmentally sustainable, equitable and just urban development giving an example of the Kisumu’s Non-motorized transport system that takes care of 67% of its residents.
He outlined that to have an equitable and just system of services, the citizens must be provided by both motorized and non-motorized transport systems.
Secondly, order must be maintained. Governor Nyong’o reiterated that order is vital in any kind of urban planning to give room for proper commercial centres. He lauded the National Government in its efforts to put up the Uhuru Business Park that will bring freedom to traders allowing them to transit from informality to formality by providing more secure, sustainable and environmentally healthy spaces.
He noted that the advantages that come with formal commercial centres are many, and we must be ready to formalize the commercial line in urban centres to allow our traders access better services including credit facilities from commercial banks to boost their businesses.
His remarks were also echoed by CS Macharia who informed the delegates of the government’s intensified efforts to complete roadworks along the Kisumu Boys – Mamboleo junction. He also urged the residents and stakeholders to support the Governor in making Kisumu ready for the Africities.
From the forum, the CS is expected to have a brief tour at the recently rehabilitated Kisumu Port to supervise preparations ahead of the launch, a move that was welcomed by the Governor acknowledging that the opening of Kisumu Port is a very important aspect as it will provide an entry point into the region connecting the East African Countries.
Cognizant of the important role played by the lake in the areas of commerce, trade, entertainment and tourism and Kisumu having turned its back to the lake over the years, the Governor said his administration will cooperate with traders on Obote road to ensure that the trade is friendly to the lakefront environment and adds to the economy of the lake.
Also in attendance were: Nakuru Governor and Chair of the Housing and Urban Development Committee under CoG Lee Kinyanjui, PS State Department of Housing and Development Charles Hinga, Maimunah Mohd Sharif –UN Habitat Executive Director, Amb. Njambi Kinyungu among others.
By: Nancy Juma
The 2019 excellence award for town and county cleanest city in Kenya goes to Kisumu City.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o has today received the Excellence Award on behalf of County following the city’s led clean-up program.
The awards were presented by the Town and County Planners Association of Kenya (TCPAK) at the World Town Planning Day (WTPD) celebrations held at Acacia Premier Hotel, Kisumu.
The first city manager award was also presented to Ms. Dorice Ombara who is the county’s city manager.
The WTPD is an annual international day that marks the accomplishments of planners and their contributions to their communities. On the 8th of November annually, planners around the world participate in World Town Planning activities. a practice that began in 1949.
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Kisumu is currently undergoing tremendous enterprise transformation evident by; revival of the old Kisumu Port, establishment of a rapid transport system, development of the special economic zone, modernization of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and establishment of a cancer center at the facility.
Currently, Ksh. 60 million has been set aside this financial year. Additionally there is the ongoing construction of the Kisumu Business and Incubation Center and the level preparedness towards hosting AfriCities 2021.
“We meet our ambitions through deliberate interventions to develop niche opportunities for foreign investors to tap. It is against this this backdrop that my deputy and I hosted the newly ambassadors chaperoned by Ambassador Njeru Githae to have a conversation of the available investment opportunities in Kisumu and to keep them abreast of the county’s level of preparedness towards hosting AfriCities 2021” said the Governor.
The idea is to invite the ambassadors to lobby for development partners to flock Kisumu from their respective countries thus revamping the County’s economic base.
Kisumu County Delegation to the 20th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) in Cairo
Governor Nyongó leading a delegation to the 20th Session
of the Executive Committee of UCLGA.
Kisumu Governor, Prof. P. Anyang’ Nyong’o and Speaker of the County Assembly, Hon. Onyango Oloo attending the 20th Session of the Executive Committee of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) in Cairo, Egypt. The County delegation, together with the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, will make presentation to the UCLGA executive committee on Kenya’s preparedness to host Africities Summit 2021.
Kisumu County hosted a corporate engagement forum on domestic travel organized by the Kenya Tourism Board (magical Kenya) in conjunction with County government and the members of the Western Kenya circuit at the Jambo Impala Ecolodge.
The forum which was officially opened by the Kisumu County minister for tourism and the chair of the 47 County Ministers in charge of tourism, Achie Ojany – Alai, brought together stakeholders from the tourism industry as well as corporate officials from the non-tourism sector with the aim of sharing information and exploring tourism opportunities as a way of revitalizing domestic tourism in Kenya, under the theme Work, Travel, Save and Repeat.
In her remarks, the County Minister challenged the corporate fraternity to take time off work to engage in domestic tourism as a way to refresh revitalize and stimulate. Hon Achie urged the players to think of making a memorable experience to the tourists.
“My main plan is to market Kisumu and the Western Kenya Circuit to the tourism national grid,” said Hon. Achie.
The County minister also mentioned the upcoming Africities as an opportunity where Kisumu residents and its neighbours can explore by providing accommodation and entertainment in their homes.
Speaking on behalf of the board, the representatives emphasized on the vision and mission of the board adding that their mandate is to market Kenya’s diverse experiences.
The general concern was that there is need to connect Western Kenya to the national grid in matters tourism, a call that was echoed by every speaker at the forum.
The board also assured the forum of combing the Western Kenya circuit by exploring medical, sports as well as domestic tourism in the region.
The forum was attended by members of the Business Community, Doctors, civil servants, Tour Guide operators from the Western Kenya circuit, Kenya Wildlife Service and representatives of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers.
By Matilda Atieno
Remarks by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL During the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to Host the Africities Conference 2021 in Kisumu
The journey towards hosting Kisumu Africities Summit 2021 is set to be marked today by the official signing of the hosting rights MOU with the National government, the County government and UCLGA at Ciala Resort in Kisumu.
The event will be attended by the members of the National Steering Committee comprising CSs for Transport Hon. James Macharia, Finance Hon. Henry Rotich, Tourism Hon. Najib Balala, Foreign Affairs Hon. Monica Juma, Devolution (The committee Chair) Hon. Eugine Wamalwa, Interior and Coordination Hon. Fred Matiangi as well as the COG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya .among other dignitaries.
By Lorraine Anyango and Annette Abondo
The business fraternity in Kisumu County has been called upon to prepare early for the 9th edition of the African Cities Summit.
Certain business takes time to be ready hence it will be prudent for them to be ready two months before the commencement of the summit in November 2021.
The summit which is coming to Kenya after 15 years, is expected to attract about 10,000 delegates including head of states, governors from different countries in Africa, city mayors among others.
“There are countries where the summit has taken place, however the benefits were not maximized, we want to make sure that everyone has been brought on board” Mr. Joe Ager who is chairing the planning committee said.
The planning team will conduct out reaches within Kisumu so as to reach out to people including small scale traders, entrepreneurs, and inventors, businesses in the fishing industry and the entire business community in the villages.
“Africities will enable us to take devolution to the grass root level, we want to ensure that development reaches to the smallest household within our county.” Mr. Ager said
Planning is already ongoing on how to engage the business fraternity, “Our goal is to engage everybody.” Mr. Ager added.
In bid to make Africities a reality, the governor of Kisumu county Hon Pro.Peter Nyongo will on Thursday 30th May 2019 sign an MOU between the National Government and, United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLG-Africa).
The signing of the MOU will be led Mr.Eugine Wamalwa who heads the ministry of devolution, it will be witnessed by seven other cabinet secretaries from the ministries concerned with national security, tourism, infrastructure , foreign affairs , IT and the treasury department.
The MOU will also be witnessed by a delegate of 250 invited guest including senators from the LREB block, Members of parliament from Kisumu, all MCA’s from Kisumu county and heads of diplomatic calls, as well as heads of the UN urgency concerned with urban and community development, development partners and representatives of the different business sectors in Kisumu.
A joint team was formed between the National government and the county government of Kisumu on the road map mainly to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place.
Work has already started in Kisumu, the dredging machine bought to work in Lake Victoria, will go a long way to improve transport and trade on the lake as well as contribute to enable the delegates to see the beauty of the lake.
Expression of interest was done and applications of specialist in geophysical and special planning submitted applications to work ahead of the Africities summit.
Kenya will host Africities for the second time, the last time it was hosted in Nairobi in 2006, other cities that have hosted the Summit are Dakar, Johannesburg, Abidjan, Windhoek, Younde, Nairobi, and Marrakech.
The Africities Summit is a flagship event of the Pan African Organization United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). It is held every three years in one of the five regions on the continent.
The 8th edition of the Africities took place in November 20-24 in Marrakesh, Morocco, under the theme: “The transition towards sustainable cities and territories: The role of Local and Sub- national governments of Africa.”
The local hotel industry will need to expand its facilities to successfully host a continental conference set for November 2021, Kisumu does not have enough facilities to host the conference and may need to work with neighbouring counties on accommodating delegates.
Local hotels currently have a bed capacity of 4,000 against 10,000 delegates expected to attend the meeting.
To maximize on the opportunity, Kisumu county government is already identifying idle homes and asking residents to offer extra rooms in their homes to bridge the gap.
In the month of April UCLG-Africa secretary general Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi made a visit to asses facilities ahead of the meeting.
Mr. Mbassi noted that Kisumu had a long way to go to fulfill requirements to host the conference, however the there was still has time to adequately prepare.
The meeting, by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), also known as Africities Conference, brings together various stakeholders in development.
Africities mobilizes communities and local authorities, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level, to foster development.
The framework of all Africities summits seeks to matters captured in the 2063 Vision for Africa. Africa’s vision pursues two major objectives. The first objective is establishing collective schemes that aim to better the living conditions of the citizens at the grassroots level. The second objective is to enhance the unification, integration and peace of Africa from the local level.
The most recent Africities Summit was held in Marrakesh, Morroco from 20th to 24th November 2018. The event commemorated 20 years of the Africities Summit. The theme for that summit was ‘the transition to sustainable cities and territories, the role of local and sub-national governments of Africa’. The goal of the theme was to focus on the need for Local Africa to learn, promote and present a new approach to sustainable development.
The parties involved in the preparation and implementation of the summit are the Political Commission, the Executive Commission, and the Operational Commission. The political commission is composed of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLGA) members and headed by the UCLGA’s current president.
The political commission is mandated the summit’s venue, date and theme. In consultation with host’s authorities, they also approve the summit’s budget and validate the closing report of the summit’s closing accounts presented by external auditors. After the conclusion of the summit, the political commission monitors and evaluates the implementation of the recommendations in collaboration with designated institutions.
The executive commission comprises of the Chairman of the National Association of Local Governments, who chairs the commission; the representative of the Minister in charge of Local Governments; the Mayor of the City that hosted the preceding edition of the Summit; and the UCLGA Secretary General who fulfills the function of the Commission Secretariat.
The commission is in charge of preparations of the summit’s meetings and supervision of the exhibition’s activities, design and implementation of the summit’s communication strategy, logistics and protocol questions and preparation of the summit’s draft budget. They are basically in charge of the preparation and implementation of the Political Commission decisions.
The operational commission comprises of the Mayor of the City of the Africities, who is also the chairperson of the Commission; a representative of the Central Government (Ministry in charge of Local Governments); a representative of the National Association of Local Governments; and a representative of the UCLGA General Secretariat, who fulfills the functions of Secretariat of the Commission. The commission is tasked with the management of the summit’s resources, implementation of relating expenses in compliance with the summit’s financial regulations, monitoring the execution of the communication plan, supervision of the summit’s and exhibition’s operations and supervision of the publication of the summit’s proceedings.
The summit is divided into six segments: the political session, sessions on the transition, local strategies and policies sessions, stakeholder’s sessions, open sessions and exceptional events.
It entails meetings of mayors, local authorities and ministers followed by a political dialogue between mayors and local authorities, African institutions and development partners.
The transition session discusses changes in Africa’s demography, ecology, politics and democracy, economy and culture. The local strategies and policies session looks into the planning and programming strategies for transition at the local level.
The stakeholder session identifies the role of financial institutions, trade unions, civil societies and other stakeholders in the transition. Open sessions allow those wishing to support the local authorities to submit their proposals and contribute to the reflections.
The exceptional events include the exhibition exchange, a gala dinner, host country’s cultural event performance, issuing of awards and any other essential meeting regarding the summit’s theme.