Kenya’s Vision for Participatory Local Democracy

Image Courtesy of Kenya Vision 2030

Image Courtesy of Kenya Vision 2030

With a mission to become a globally competitive and prosperous nation, Kenya has established priorities for 2030 in its national development program known as Vision2030.

Officially launched in 2008, Kenya’s Vision2030 program consists of successive five year plans detailing its strategy for development. The Vision tackles three “pillars” that focus on economic, social, and political improvements. Each pillar has its own stated goals:

  • Economic: “Aims to achieve an average economic growth rate of 10 percent per annum and sustaining the same until 2030.”
  • Social: “Seeks to engender just, cohesive and equitable social development in a clean and secure environment.”
  • Political: “Aims to realize an issue-based, people-centered, result-oriented and accountable democratic system.”

Specifically, the Political Pillar aims to improve the rule of law, transparency and accountability, the electoral process, security and conflict management, and democracy and public service delivery.

Recently, Kenya’s Director General of the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Mugo Kibati, explained further details about the program at the Kenyatta International Convention Center in Nairobi. Kibati emphasized the importance of local government and encouraged local solutions for local problems. In Kibati’s speech, he stated that, with implementation of Kenya’s new Constitution, the “Kenyan system of government is going to change…[to] two levels of government: national and county government.” As a result, local governments will hold significantly more political power within each semi-autonomous region. By allowing local governments into the decision-making process, Vision2030 seeks to improve the distribution of public resources and services as well as to enhance civic participation in government issues.

Moving forward with the Post-2015 Agenda, policymakers must replicate the Kenyan government’s emphasis on local democracy in order to ensure sustainable and successful development.

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