The Kisii County Government and the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will assist the county realize some of the programmes under the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
Speaking in Kisii, USAID Mission Director Mark Meassick said the five-year MoU signifies a joint commitment to Kenyan-led development in Kisii County and reflects their shared vision for devolution in the county.
Meassick noted that USAID will continue working with the county even beyond the five-year period because the county has an enabling environment for investors.
“Governor James Ongwae, unlike other governors has built a strong working relationship with the national government through the County Commissioner, the County Assembly, all county stakeholders and the Kisii community at large thereby attracting investors across the globe,” said the USAID Mission Director.
“We all know that investors are attracted in places where there are no conflict and contradictions,” he said. “We are going to work with the county government on a trade and investment plan to link Kisii County business with US investors and try to find many other areas of collaboration,” added Meassick.
Meassick revealed that though the MoU is for five years the US government is taking a long-term view of the relationship and that it will partner with Kisii to co-create the future of the county.
Kisii has been selected as a focus county under the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Kenya at the county level.
“The United States Government is shifting the way we work. We want our programs to be co-created, co-implemented, and co-measured to address problems and solve them at the county level,” explained Meassick.
The MOU provides a framework to guide the new way that USAID and Kisii County will do business together, including aligning activities, plans and budgets, designing new programs and priorities together, jointly monitoring and evaluating programs and working together to counter corruption and protect beneficiaries.
USAID’s past investments in the county have included programs in the areas of agriculture, democracy and mutual security, education, health, and youth workforce development.
Governor Ongwae said the MoU paves way for collaboration on development projects which support the promotion of inclusive and sustainable Economic, Social and Political development of Kisii.
He thanked the USAID for helping both the county and the national government in implementing a cooperation strategy to enable the country achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta’s a Big 4 development agenda and Vision 2030.
“As county government we undertake to provide a conducive environment for the USAID. Since USAID also seeks to engage directly with the people, my administration is ready to continuously facilitate your outreach,” said Ongwae.