Government, UN and Development Partners Tighten Cooperation on Development

UN Resident Coordinator,a.i. Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee giving his keynote speech at the National Steering Committee Retreat at Maanzoni Lodge.

The Government of Kenya, the United Nations system in Kenya and development partners have reaffirmed their commitment to working together in promoting sustainable development in the country. This was the key message at the National Steering Committee meeting held on 15 March 2015 and co-chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator, a.i., Mr. Sidharth Chatterjee, Devolution PS, Saitoti Torome, Environment and Natural Resources PS, Dr. Margaret Mwakima and Treasury Director of External Resources, Mr. Jackson Kinyanjui.

The NSC is the organ that directly oversees GoK-UN coorporation on development as outlined in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) which was adopted in 2008 to replace the hitherto fragmented approach to development.

On behalf of the government, the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Hon. Henry Rotich thanked the UN family for their support to the Government’s Development Agenda.  The CS, in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Kinyanjui, conveyed the Government’s acknowledgment of the importance of their partnership in achieving Kenya’s development goals. “As Government, we acknowledge that Transformative Governance, Human Capital Development, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Environmental sustainability Land Management and Human Security are critical areas of our economic prosperity and our partnership with UN Agencies goes a long way towards attainment of the expected result in the four outcomes areas,” he said.

The whole-day event which was also attended by Turkana County Governor Hon. Josephat Nanok and his Marsabit County counterpart Hon. Ukur Yatany saw members of each of the four Strategic Result Areas present on the progress so far. From each SRA emerged a number of achievements cast on a backdrop of opportunities and challenges.

The governors too shared with the participants the impact of UN’s area-based approach to development in their counties. “Development brought about by the cooperation between the UN and Turkana County has contributed to the relative peace experienced in the county in the last two or so years,” said Hon. Nanok.

Hon. Nanok was referring mainly to the development and implementation of the Turkana County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP), and the Turkana County & UN Joint Program which is aligned with the country’s Vision 2030 and its second Mid Term Plan.

The other area-based program that received much attention was the Marsabit County, Kenya and Borana Zone, Ethiopia Cross-border Integrated Program for Sustainable Peace and Development which was launched in the border town of Moyale on 7 December 2015 by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn. The Program aims at promoting sustainable development and peace through a judicious mix of socioeconomic transformative programs within a broad framework of interventions including enhancing the peoples’ entrepreneurial and peace building capacities.

As the cooperation on development between the Government and the UN strengthens, the NSC noted the need to invest more on localizing the Sustainable Development Goals and working even more closely with Philanthropies and the Private Sector to achieve development goals.

The UN Resident Coordinator, a.i., Mr. Sidharth Chatterjee was upbeat that even more could be achieved with the good working relations that exist between the UN and the Government. “The UN in Kenya would like to applaud the co-leadership and the ownership of the GoK, rolling up sleeves, working towards the UNDAF 13 outcome areas with joint objectives,” he said.