The Ministry of Devolution and ASALs has launched a Kshs. 20 Billion European Union funded Instruments for Devolution Advise and Support (IDEAS) programme with the signing of the agreement between the Ministry and the County Government of Makueni on Wednesday at the Treasury Boardroom, 10th floor.
The Programme will benefit 15 counties with each of the Counties getting over Kshs. 110 Million to fund local economic development projects. The projects to benefit will support the big four agenda and range from food & milk processing plants to construction of abattoirs and markets, thereby enhancing food security and creating employment for the youth in the counties.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa said the EU-IDEAS programme, funds local economic development projects to enable local manufacturing at the counties thereby benefiting the whole value chain. He added that the big four agenda will be realized at the counties noting that the programme is one of the many that the Ministry is implementing with the Counties to support devolution in the country.
The CS noted that the Ministry has put in place a technical assistance team, which will work with the counties in building their capacity to implement the programme. He added that he will ensure that the programme observes high financial standards and that the resources are spent for the intended purposes.
He congratulated the Governor Makueni County, Professor Kivutha Kibwana, for setting the pace and being a role model for the rest of the counties and urged the others to finalize with the conditions set to benefit from the funds. He also thanked the European Union for availing the facility to the counties and assured them that the funds will be put to productive use.
Speaking during the same function, the Governor Makueni County, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, said that in starting the mango puree project among others, the county aims at attaining economic independence for its citizens adding that if this is achieved the county will be food secure. He noted that that the partnership between his county, the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs and the European Union is crucial and will go a long way in empowering Makueni people to take charge of their lives. The Governor added that his government takes transparency and accountability very seriously, which is an ingredient to the success of any project.
Among those present during the ceremony were: Devolution Principal Secretary, Nelson Marwa, ASALs Principal Secretary, Micah Powon, European Union Representative, Vincent De Boer, Chairman Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) Prof. Karega Mutahi and Makueni County Secretary, Paul Wasanga.
Makueni County is the first of the 15 counties to benefit from the programme after meeting the set stringent conditions. The other Counties to benefit from the programme are: Kisumu, Migori, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Samburu, Wajir, Laikipia, Marsabit, Nyandarua, Baringo,Kisii, Taita Tavetta, Tana River and Kwale.