Development partners show confidence in Kenya’s economic management.
The European Union (EU) statement that it will work with Kenya as a partner to identify priority areas to support and jointly define the way in which the support will be rolled out is a testimony of confidence in the country’s economic management. During Aid Effectiveness Group (AEG) retreat in Nakuru County, the EU announced that it will offer financial support to mega projects under Vision 2030 to the tune of Ksh321 billion.
This marks a significant departure from the days when development partners would pick the programmes and projects to fund. The additional funding gives the Government the confidence it needs to push ahead with Vision 2030 projects, whose success will see the country transformed into a middle-income economy.
The two-day development partners meeting, which was held at Lake Elementaita Country Lodge, was attended by senior Government officers, among them National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge and his Information, Communications and Technology Counterpart, Mr Joseph Tiampati Ole Musuni. The Head of European Cooperation Delegation to Kenya Mr Erik Habers also attended the retreat.
While in talks with other development partners’ agencies in Mombasa, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr Henry Rotich, said the Government will invest heavily in infrastructure that will facilitate growth and achievement of Vision 2030 goals. Mr Rotich added: “The Port of Mombasa is the region’s gateway and with the increased volume of trade, investments are required to ensure the facility copes with the current demands and hence improve our competitiveness.”
However, while speaking during the donors meeting in Mombasa, Trade Mark East Africa Director General Mr David Stanton, said that at the moment, East Africa has among the highest freight and transport costs in the world. These costs, he added, seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, reducing trade, economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
The Civil Society Organisations in Kenya (CSOs) were accorded the opportunity to present their own views during the AEG retreat in Lake Elementaita Country Lodge, Nakuru County. In the CSOs perspective on Partnership for Development Effectiveness, entitled “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network,” the presentation recognised CSOs engagement in Kenya.
It noted that CSOs in Kenya promote the provision of public goods and essential services to the citizens, support democratic ownership of national and county development plans and initiatives. The “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network”, added that in Kenya CSOs promote transparency and accountability of both national and county governments, and their own internal accountability.
On some examples of CSOs contribution in Kenya, the “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network”, added CSOs have employed 240,000 Kenyans, supported livelihoods of people in very poor regions and counties, and promoted human rights and civic education. The “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network” further said Kenya based CSOs are also active in the African and Global Structure of the Global Partnerships for Effective Development Co-operation including the global initiative on task team for CSOs enabling environment and Development Effectiveness.
On challenges in engagement with the AEG structure, the “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network”, noted that apart from the AEG and pre-Development Partners Forum, CSOs are not given enough notice to prepare and participate in meetings and review documents. Mobilising CSOs sector remains a challenge, says the “Reality Of Aid-Africa Network”, adding that CSOs lack budget to support and prepare participation into the sector working groups and other structures.
“The contraction between the establishment of forums to increase space for CSOs and planned legislation to shrink that CSOs space adversely affect their interest and capacity to participate in various sector working groups,” says the “Reality Of Aid-Afrika Network” in the two day seminar.
External funding remains an important financing instrument for not only CSOs but also for government’s development programmes.
Speaking in Mombasa during a donors’ briefing conference last week, African Development Bank Regional Director Mr Gabriel Negatu, reiterated beyond doubt the development partners’ confidence in Kenya government and ostensibly its economy. Mr Negatu said: “Our support is in line with our strategy to align our funding programmes with the country’s Vision 2030, to spur economic growth and uplift the people’s welfare.”