During a tour of the Coast Development Authority (CDA) in Mombasa, CS Peninah Malonza, responsible for East African Community (EAC), Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), and Regional Development, urged regional development authorities to establish a collaborative framework with national and county governments, along with other partners.

Malonza emphasized the government’s efforts to create a policy that would implement this collaborative framework. The proposed Regional Development Authorities Bill 2023, currently with the Cabinet after undergoing public participation in November, aims to harmonize and facilitate participation by county and national governments, as well as development partners.

The CS highlighted the importance of harmonizing the participation of counties, considering that regional development authorities cut across multiple counties. Kenya has six regional development authorities, including the Coast Development Authority, Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, and Kerio Valley Development Authority.

Malonza acknowledged the pivotal role played by regional development authorities in implementing programs to uplift the economy and improve the lives of Kenyans. Despite their significant contributions, these authorities face challenges such as financial constraints and understaffing.

The CS assured that once the proposed Bill is enacted, it would address these challenges by providing a policy framework for effective resource mobilization strategies. This would empower regional development authorities to collaborate with stakeholders beyond government funding.

Addressing concerns raised by the Senate Budget team about budgetary allocations to regional development authorities, Malonza emphasized the need for a communication strategy to showcase the impactful work done by these authorities at the grassroots level. This visibility, she argued, would help prevent unwarranted budgetary cuts.

Regarding staffing challenges, Malonza indicated that the ministry would soon provide clearance for additional staff, addressing another concern raised during the tour.

Leave a Reply