George Anderson, President emeritus of the Forum, and Shawn Houlihan, Senior Director for Africa, represented the Forum at this important conference in Nairobi. Some 1000 stakeholders and experts, including several from other devolved regimes in Africa, came together to discuss the interim report of the Task Force on Devolved Government, which had been established by the Kenyan government early in 2011 to consider issues relating to the implementation of the devolution provisions of the new Kenyan constitution, which was promulgated in August of 2010.
The conference was addressed by President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Goverment Musalia Mudavadi. There were workshops which examined detailed aspects of the interim report, including one on fiscal issues, at which Mr. Anderson spoke. The chair of the Task Force, Mutakha Kangu, emphasized how valuable the Task Force found the deliberations, which will be used in the preparation of the final report this summer. Kenya is to elect 47 county governments for the first time in 2012, when it will also elect the new President and parliament. The Forum has been providing technical advice to the task force and the Kenyan government.