Speech during the Second Thematic Development Partnership Forum on Devolution


Honorable Governors

Your Excellencies, High Commissioners and Ambassadors

Cabinet Secretaries

Development Partners

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 1. I am pleased to be with you this morning for the seventh thematic Development Partnership Forum (DPF) meeting, which will be reviewing the status of Devolution in Kenya.  At the earliest, let me commend our Development Partners who have continued to work with us towards the attainment of our development agenda as outlined in our Vision 2030. I wish also to thank the Council of Governors and ministries as key stakeholders in this area.

 2. It is a privilege to chair this second thematic Development Partners Forum on Devolution. The thematic DPFs allow the Government and Development Partners to have more meaningful dialogue on mutually agreed issues, which consequently helps us flag key issues for implementation within realistic timelines.  The last thematic forum on ‘Ease of Doing Business was held on 29th September 2014. We also have an upcoming thematic forum on “Youth and Development”.

3.  The objective of today’s meeting is to discuss the status of devolution and appreciate how far we have come since this important developmental strategy was adopted in 2010.

Two years into the proper implementation of devolution, I am proud to note that significant progress has been made. By dint of comprehensive negotiation within the framework of the Division of Revenue process, Counties accessed Ksh Sh210 billion to underwrite service delivery with regard to the functions devolved to counties under the Fourth Schedule of the constitution in FY 2012/13.

This equitable share rose to Ksh 226 billion in FY 2013/14 and is projected to increase by another Ksh 20 billion this financial year. The import of these allocations is that the Government has exceeded the minimum requirements of article 203(2) of the Constitution, which requires that not less than 15% of national revenue shall be allocated to county governments. The allocation of between 34% and 40% of national revenue to counties compares quite favourably with other countries in the region, which have devolved fiscal responsibility.

I am also proud that borne of our deep commitment to the success of this enterprise we have, in the space of two years, succeeded in transferring most of the functions to County governments under the Constitution including agriculture, healthcare and rural roads. 

Devolution involves a wide range of complex developmental issues and it would be inapposite to suggest that we have done everything we set out to do. Much still calls for our joint attention if devolution’s gains are to take root. 

4. To fully realize the benefits of devolution a number of interventions are required to address the emerging challenges. First, we urge County Governments to comply with the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and other relevant laws to avoid unnecessary delays in release of funds that could hamper smooth delivery of services to the public.

Secondly, every county needs to ensure that their revenue projections are realistic; this will help them realize budget credibility and higher budget execution rates. Thirdly, it is critical to have improved transparency and accountability and full automation of revenue collection and management.

5. Effective and efficient service delivery demands efficient human resource. The Capacity of the staff deployed in the Civil Service across counties in terms of numbers and skills impacts directly on efficient public service delivery.

A comprehensive and harmonized capacity building framework is therefore important. The National Government continues to facilitate and accelerate capacity building for County Governments to address skills and competence gaps. The Ministry of Devolution and Planning has led the Capacity Assessment and Rationalization Programme for the Public Service and as you are aware the biometric registration of National and County Governments staff is still ongoing. We expect that the outcome will help place relevant officers with relevant skills where they are required so that we achieve maximum results.

6.  Lastly, the Cabinet approved the Kenya External Resources Policy in December last year. This policy provides the legal, organizational, operational and accountability framework to guide the sourcing and management of external resources for National, County Governments and Urban Areas and Cities. Don’t be afraid, the external resources policy is a living document, which we will amend for the purposes of improvement as demanded by the context of the times. I urge County Governments, Development Partners and all key stakeholders to apply the Kenya External Resources Policy as guide in their external resource mobilization and management.

Ladies and Gentlemen

7. Devolution, you will all concur, is not a one off event but a process. We understand that the transition from the central government to county governments is not without challenges. We, however, hold the firm view that we have the capacity, if we work together, to overcome any issue, challenge or obstacle and deliver the promise of devolution to our people.

We are all stewards of a powerful idea and an important moment in history. Devolution is not impractical or impossible so let us be candid and open in our discussions and above all let us proffer practical solutions to the challenges we face.

I have been informed that three-key areas were isolated for discussion and during the Pre-Development Partnership Forum (Pre-DPF), which took place last week on 5th February 2014 at the KICC, some key recommendations were made. We expect to review the recommendations and endorse them for implementation.

8. With those few remarks, it is now my pleasure to declare this forum officially open.


The First UNESCO Management of Social Transformation (MOST) Forum


Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General, UNESCO

Ministers of Social Development/Cabinet Secretaries present

Principal Secretaries Present

Mr. Mohamed Djelid, Director UNESCO Regional Office, Nairobi

Amb. Dr. Mary Khimulu, Vice President of MOST Inter-Governmental Commission

Excellences and Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Members of the Academia

Ag. Chair, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO

Secretary General, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO

Distinguished Guests

I am happy to join you in launching the first UNESCO MANAGEMENT OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION (MOST) forum of ministers of social development. I welcome all our guests to Nairobi and Kenya and trust that in addition to a successful official tour, you will have opportunity to enjoy Kenya's unique and unforgettable magic.

I am aware that such forums have been successfully held in West Africa and Latin America. On that note, I am happy to note that ministers from Ghana and Ecuador have joined us in their capacities as MOST forum presidents for their regional forums. I trust that their experiences will enrich our inaugural forum and give us an idea of the possibilities at hand.

Without a doubt, this forum is overdue by decades.  For long, Africa has been discussing development in a conservative, hesitant way. We did not have the confidence in our ability to speak to our aspirations.

We lacked the resources to supply our most critical needs. We embraced socioeconomic development paradigms, which were inappropriate or incomplete. Most of all, our leaders governed in a global context that was averse to dramatic change, whether positive or negative. For this reason, development discourse was all about moderating expectations, justifying inequality and normalising unsatisfactory socioeconomic circumstances.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In time, positively ambitious development programmes came to be associated with revolution and instability. Justice was a highly suspicious expression.

Today, East Africa stands among regions, which are witnessing rapid socioeconomic change. This is a result of global convergence of beneficial factors as well as a renaissance in African socioeconomic imagination.

We are rediscovering our vision and ambition. We have discarded the snail's pace, trickle-down development model for a rapid, ambitious, comprehensive transformation. This transformation is built on the essential foundation of Shared Prosperity. This places justice at the heart of all development discourse and agenda.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In East Africa, we are going places, and we are getting there fast. In East Africa, we are comfortable giving justice pride of place at the very heart of socioeconomic development. This forum therefore speaks to a very real and specific need of our region.

It is overdue by several years. This is to say as a region, we need to engage without looking back and develop, share and interrogate ideas, approaches and policies, which advance social transformation and justice in Eastern Africa. This sort of engagement is imperative for the promotion of shared prosperity, peace and justice in our region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am informed that this forum will have exciting panel discussions where participants will thrash out issues of poverty, inequality, youth challenges, unemployment, skills development, as well as matter relating to population and health. This is evidence that discussions of justice and social transformation entails the same issues as interventions connected to economic growth.

This is exciting because we have, as a region and as a globe, gone full circle. We now don’t take it for granted that there is a direct relationship between prosperity and justice. No one can argue about the connection between justice and development. We are therefore having another conversation on development since we speak to one of its essential dimensions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Kenya, the subject matter of this forum emanates from the heart and soul of our Republic. Our constitution sets out National Values to include human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and the protection of the marginalised.

Sustainable development is also a national value. These values are the essence of our dispensation. They are non-optional parameters of our governance. The economic and social rights contained in our Bill of Rights elaborate some of the expectations in regard to these values. The constitution directs every national activity towards the achievement of these values.

Conscious of this context, the Government has invested robustly in programmes aimed at realising this agenda. We continue to support the Free and Compulsory Primary Education to embrace all Kenyans irrespective of economic status and give them the one real chance at empowering and transforming their lives.

Beyond that, we are now implementing Free Day Secondary Education in our public schools. We also subsidize for those in boarding secondary schools. All university students are now eligible to student loans, which originally was available to a limited number of students. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have also expanded the social safety net by providing financial support for the old, orphaned, widowed, disabled and other vulnerable members of the society through direct cash transfer system. Similarly, the National Hospital Insurance Fund is currently implementing a social medical insurance to all Kenyans to make treatment and care available regardless of economic status.

We have a statutory framework which ring-fences public procurement opportunities for youth, women and persons with disability. This group also benefits from concessionary financing and business incubation and development support through the Youth Enterprise Fund, the Women’s Enterprise Fund and the Uwezo Fund.

We look forward to engaging more in this and future forums, because we are just getting started. Therefore, we want to enrich and expand our ability to deliver social justice in fulfilment of our constitutional mandates.

We also want Kenya to stand in the League of Nations committed to real prosperity. As I earlier stated, a commitment to real prosperity is a commitment to justice. I trust that this forum will pronounce a Nairobi Declaration in resounding and compelling terms.

Kenya also looks forward to engaging in the Post-2015 Development Agenda driven by UN member States through UNESCO. Our expectations of this forum are, therefore, rightly high.

I thank UNESCO and its Director-General, who is ably represented here, for its commitment to the aspirations and agenda of MOST. We look forward to more intensive collaboration in days to come. Once again I thank you all for your presence and commitment. I wish everyone a rewarding stay in Kenya, and successful deliberations.

It is now my pleasure to officially open the MOST Forum of Ministers of Social Development from Easter African countries.

Thank you.

Jamhuri Speech

Jamhuri Speech - 2013

At the United States International University, Nairobi.


Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning

I am pleased to be here today for the opening of the USIU-Africa Science Centre. 

A few years ago when I was Minister for Higher Education I politely suggested that we should allocate more resources and train our focus into Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes. 

As they say the rest is history. 

I want to applaud the leadership of this university; today is a great day not only for this community but also for the country in our pursuit of prosperity and advancement. 

It embellishes the occasion to see that the private sector is willing to put money behind STEM programmes, this is undoubtedly the way to go. 

The difference between the biggest economies in the world and ours is simple: science and technology. They have more of it and we do not have enough. China, America, Japan, and South Korea dominate the world because they manipulate science and technology like no else. 


In fact these countries are in constant competition with one another to see who can teach maths and science better and more innovatively than the other. 

The place of science in the world is unquestionable: Science creates; science innovates and eventually elevates society. 

Infrastructure is great but the most potent thing we can add to our economy is innovation and we cannot do that without a sound knowledge base particularly in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. 


Knowledge will inform research, research will influence industry, and industry will raise standards, create employment and pass on value and convenience to consumers. It’s the great equalizer.

Moreover, there is nothing that science cannot revolutionize: there is no industry, no sector, and no genre immune to the influence of innovation: from agriculture, to media, manufacturing, ICT, hospitality, construction, health care, banking, and security-nothing is safe. 

We must teach this and future generations that there is a place in the global economy for this country if we are willing to grab it, all we need is new ideas.  

We are currently devoting our endeavours in a socioeconomic transformation project.

This project is aimed at radiating the benefits of development and opportunity to all people in all parts of the country.

Scientific research and technological innovation are the heart and soul of this transformation.

For us as a Nation and Government, therefore, growth and development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics enhances our strength and capacity to achieve and exceed our transformational goals.

Every step we take in boosting our science and technology potential goes a long way to improve Kenya's regional and global competitiveness.

Innovation and research in science and technology creates opportunities where Government and the private sector can collaborate and mutually benefit. Our interests in the STEM sector complement each other and leads to the sort of partnership that can take a people forward into a new age of improved opportunity, better public services and more wealth.

We need as a country to work within every collaborative framework in the public and private sector and ensure that the numbers and quality of personnel we develop speak to our stated ambitions.

We must develop sufficient talent to support public service and private sector needs. In short, we need more graduates, and we need high-quality graduates to take up available opportunities.

The Government has developed attractive incentives and facilities to support investments, which promise opportunities for our graduates.

I am proud to declare that the quality of our young workforce is one of our country's key attractions as an investment destination.

We are working hard to ensure that graduates find employment, and that industry meets its skilled labour requirements.

It is important for institutions to push the quality of training farther in order for us to maintain our position as a leader in Education, Research and Innovation. That is why the inauguration of this facility is an important milestone deserving commendation.

The Government has invested immensely in the radical transformation of health services. We are equipping and upgrading health facilities throughout the country.

We want Kenyans to start enjoying healthcare of the best quality at their counties. Quality healthcare relies on effective administration of therapies. Adequate drugs of the best quality are indispensable. Without pharmaceutical professionals of the highest calibre, quality healthcare is not possible.

This expansion and transformation in the health sector therefore creates enormous opportunities for pharmacists in both the public and private sectors.

I commend this University's intention to commence offering Bachelor of Pharmacy from May this year. Without a doubt, you will contribute to healthcare development in Kenya by training health professionals of great impact.

 I encourage our institutions of higher learning to offer a fine example to its students and industry. You must demonstrate leadership and professionalism in order to develop industry leaders and excellent professionals.

You must teach imaginatively if you are going to mentor innovators. At all times, our universities must persistently work to improve the quality of education.

For our economy to stay competitive, we have no choice but to work hard in enhancing the competitiveness of our higher education.

We have no choice in the matter. That is why we commend efforts like these, which demonstrate potential to radically improve educational competitiveness.

High quality education must become a natural tradition of our universities. High quality education must become a national characteristic.

Our universities and graduates must be trained to remain competitive, innovative and effective in a rapidly evolving industrial, environment. Partnerships between industry and educational institutions are the way to go. Many more private sector players should join GlaxoSmithKline in developing talent that meets the requirements of our economic agenda.

Thank you.

Speech to the Development Partners Forum


Your Excellencies,

Esteemed Development Partners,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to join you at the Sixth Development Partnership Forum. On behalf of the President, Government and the people of Kenya, I extend a warm welcome to our international visitors, and invite them to enjoy the delights of Magical Kenya. Please feel at home in Nairobi, and in our country.

This is the first meeting I am attending as the Chair of this Forum. Nevertheless, I understand its key objective to be the creation of a formal mechanism for our Government and its development partners to engage at the highest level.

The expectation of such engagement is that there will be greater understanding in all areas of mutual cooperation among development partners, and between the development partners and Government.

This is especially important because in the past, we have had the unedifying experience of having to talk to – but more frequently, talk at- each other through the media. Even worse, during these public altercations, the unhealthy impression was created that development partners had appropriated immense political power in exchange for development Dollars, Euro and Pounds.

A platform to review and re-chart the working relationship between Government and development partners, is therefore critical to the successful realization of development strategies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During this session, you will engage our Cabinet Secretaries and other public officials on the status of various agenda within the framework of the Government’s development plans. These include the general state of the economy and budget, implementation of the Constitution and Devolution and the Second Medium-Term Plan of the Kenya Vision 2030.

I will also touch on a number of emerging issues and challenges that bear on the Government’s ability and efficacy in delivering its transformative agenda.

At the end of these discussions, we hope to bring on board useful perspectives and inputs that will enable us cooperate in a better way to achieve development objectives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will state at this early opportunity that the Government is totally focused and committed to achieving economic transformation in a way, which will also uplift the standard of living for all Kenyans.

We fully intend to achieve double-digit GDP growth, generate food surplus, boost industrial and manufacturing capacity, and enhance the use of ICTs to reach this goal.

We have enlisted entrepreneurs, academicians, the youth, women and persons with disability as the vanguard of the economic revolution. We want every person in each of the communities of every county of this country to participate and benefit in this transformation.

Naturally, it would be absurd if such an inclusive vision for development excluded strategic and international development partners.

The Government has no problem whatsoever working with international development partners. Our understanding, of course, is that all development partners mean well for Kenya.

This means that the Government expects partners to engage in the true spirit of partnership: cooperative, facilitative and complementary.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this spirit, I encourage you, our development partners to work closely with Government and align your programmes fully with our agenda. It will help in this respect, for you to share information with Government when planning your activities.

As you know very well, our Government is open, and shares development information freely. The reason for this is to avoid unnecessary and wasteful duplication and disharmony in strategies. Our national needs are so many and so urgent that any resources and opportunities wasted directly rob citizens of needful chances for economic improvement.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the preparatory meeting last week, many of you expressed concern about several subjects. I believe that I have an opportunity to shed some light on a number of them right now.

First of all, we share your concern over corruption and mismanagement of resources, especially in the public sector. Even in our manifesto, we recognized corruption as a singularly potent threat, not only to the successful execution of our development agenda, but also to the entire body politic.

It is the nature of corruption to parlay the same institutions and legal mechanisms meant to eradicate it to instead perpetuate and shield itself.

It will not have escaped your notice that the judicial system, constitutional freedoms and fundamental rights, as well as institutional checks and balances are often used by corruption suspects to veil themselves in legal immunity.

Besides, the procurement process, which was meant to reduce wastage, curb corruption and promote transparency and accountability, has easily become corruption’s most comfortable nest. The result of a robust constitutional order and the rule of law is that due process considerably slows down the quest for accountability and the fight against corruption.

This is not to say that we are doing nothing to accelerate things. The Presidency has considered various innovative ways of giving added impetus to anti-corruption efforts, and they are bearing fruit. I want to assure everyone that the war on corruption has unstinting political support of the Government. The President and I welcome your constructive engagement on this issue.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Insecurity has become an issue of great concern, not only to our Government, but also investors, development partners, regional and international states. Our government fully appreciates its fundamental mandate to defend the country from all external and internal security threats.

We are working around the clock to reverse the undesirable security trajectory. Whereas expeditious solutions are desirable, there is understandable reason for the gradual pace at which our Government is making progress in regard to security.

I would like you to appreciate insecurity holistically as a systemic phenomenon. A diverse array of factors has contributed to insecurity in Kenya.

They include slow reforms in the security and penal institutions, corruption, terrorism and instability in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region.

The refugee problem, as well as the easy movement of weapons out of theaters of conflict, combine with the internal dynamics of corruption in the security sector and sub-optimal policing capacity to inflict damage to our society. We are not passing the buck – we are just stating the facts.

The specific measures the Government is undertaking to radically improve security include the promotion of greater accountability throughout the public service, closer border administration (immigration), a more robust management of the refugee problem, including the repatriation of refugees to their post-conflict homes.

An improved budgetary allocation to the security agencies is aimed at enhancing equipment, training and the terms of service to enable them combat increasingly sophisticated criminal syndicates. We also intend to increase the number of security officers in all services, and to invest in intensive use of technology to combat various criminal activities.

Community policing and the promotion of a vigilant citizenry will also reduce the space needed for crime to proliferate.

Our Government sees the strengthening of our security apparatus as the best means of dealing comprehensively with internal, as well as external security threats. Of course, terrorism remains an international problem requiring the concerted efforts of broad-based, dedicated coalitions.

Similarly, our country’s location in a region traversing several unstable territories, hardly helps our situation. On the contrary, it stretches our capacity to keep ourselves safe while investing in diplomatic, political and military initiatives to stabilize those territories. Moreover, our national self- interest in domestic stability and security conflicts with the intentions of terrorists, pirates and war-mongers.

Anyone interested in Kenyan development and prosperity must be interested in Kenya’s security. Similarly, anyone interested in our region’s stability and security must also be interested in Kenya’s security.

I have to state this obvious fact to underscore our disappointment with the failure of certain quarters to engage honestly and consistently with regard to Kenya’s role in regional peace and security initiatives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There has been concern that the Government intends to institute repressive legal frameworks, especially against the freedom of expression, the media and the Civil Society. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We believe a free media and a vibrant civil society are essential pillars in any democracy and they help foster sustainable, equitable, long-term growth and stability.

Legislation relating to the media is a mandatory constitutional deliverable under Article 34 of the Constitution. The parameters of the necessary
legislative framework are clearly set out in the Constitution.

The Constitution is very clear on this-Freedom of the Press, Expression, Assembly and citizens’ right to access information. Our Constitution protects, and will always protect our freedoms and rights. We cannot snatch it.

Kenya has a vibrant media industry operating in a free environment. In fact, most of the media organizations operating in the country belong to private investors, with just one Public Broadcaster - the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). Both the private media houses and KBC operate independently, free of state or political interference.

However, the Media too like the civil society should balance these freedoms with responsibility. They should be accountable on what they say and do.

We have no intention or ability to repress or curtail constitutional freedoms. I urge all stakeholders to engage on this issue with full and proper reference to the relevant constitutional framework.

The Government will continue to maintain the freedom of a robust media as a pillar of our democracy.

Similarly, alarm has met the Public Benefits Organisations law. The Civil Society has contributed to national progress in many spheres through its calls for greater transparency and accountability in the public sector.

Everyone now agrees that transparency and accountability are indispensable to governance. We encourage the civil society as well as all entities falling within the jurisdiction of the Public Benefits Organisations Act, to embrace transparency and accountability.

The Banking and Financial services sector is now fully regulated to prevent fraud, money laundering, illegal transmissions of stolen funds, or funding for illegal activity, including terrorism.

An opaque civil society, receiving large amounts of funding from all manner of sources, with all manner of interests is not only anomalous in the age of transparency and accountability; it is a tempting conduit for funds not welcome in the formal economy.

There is need to align the activities of civil society organisations to the national interest and the broader development agenda. Donors need the reassurance that they are not funneling funds to dodgy characters, and our framework aims to relieve the burden of constant auditing to evaluate aid effectiveness.

I expect Development Partners to encourage this sort of transparency in the civil society sector. As you all know, a vibrant civil society movement is guaranteed by our Constitution. Moreover, it perfects our democracy. It is here to stay.

We are also alive to the Aid effectiveness principles that include mutual accountability, alignment and harmonization. Furthermore, we understand development partners’ support to the civil society as part of the development support to Kenya. But this matter is within the jurisdiction of Parliament as of now.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I do not feel it necessary to demonstrate our Government’s fulsome commitment to constitutional implementation and devolution beyond our self- evident undertakings and plans.

After the inauguration, the allocation for county governments was enhanced to more than double the constitutional minimum amount. We are, through the Ministry of Devolution, implementing every key initiative of the Government through the devolved units.

Similarly, we have constituted our administration in full conformity with the Constitution. At the same time, we are fully conscious of the separation of powers and institutional checks and balances entailed by our constitutional order.

Our relationship with the Legislature and the Judiciary is complementary, consultative and deferential. We have resisted, and will continue to resist any pressure to overreach or infringe constitutional boundaries. Our Government is a responsible Executive.

Constitutional implementation is an expectation of the Kenya Vision 2030. So is the successful implementation of Devolution. Our Government is the custodian and trustee of the Vision 2030. Full execution of the Vision 2030 remains our unshakable commitment. In it, we see an excellent opportunity and strategy of delivering the crux of the Jubilee Manifesto: National Socio-economic Transformation, and Shared Prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I conclude, I want to assure all of you that our Government will receive your input and consider it in good faith. We will engage with our characteristic dynamism and energy. My door is always open for constructive dialogue and consultation.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and a happy stay in Kenya, and look forward to studying the outcomes at the end of the meeting.

I declare the Sixth Development Partnership Forum officially opened.

Thank you very much,

And may God bless each one of you.