We finally meet once again in Kajiado for our annual ASALs Conference. This meeting comes exactly one year since we held our inaugural ASALs Conference in Malindi, in Kilifi County.

The Annual ASALs Conference provides a platform for capturing the voices of the people living and working in the ASALs. It provides an avenue for sharing milestones; challenges and business potential existing in the ASALs. Participants are thereafter given an opportunity to draw resolutions to guide the choice of pro¬grammes and projects according to the priorities of the people. These forums also enable us to merge our perception, experiences and realities towards a common purpose of achieving equitable and sustainable development for our people. This year’s theme of “Consolidating ASALs development for poster¬ity” is hugely symbolic. It calls to attention the great potential of the ASAL regions contrary to the commonly held perception of hunger and want as well as drought and destitution associated with the ASALs.

As a Cabinet Secretary in charge of the ASALs, I am so excited to note that, true to the promise we made in Kilifi, we are going to carry out a review of progress achieved in the implementation of the 10 point resolution reached at the inaugural conference. We shall also validate a Partnership Coordination Framework as well as establishing a business platform for private sector and investors in the region. To borrow from the words of a 16th Century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne “It is good to rub and polish our brains against that of others’. We shall therefore leave this place the wiser, having interacted with the best of ourselves committed to sustainable development for posterity.