Up to 664 Civic leaders drawn from various local authorities were awarded certificates in County Governance after successfully completing their studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The leaders, including sitting mayors, councillors and county council chairpersons, undertook the course to enhance their competence and professionalism ahead of the operationalization of the devolved system of governance.
The County Governance course, another first by JKUAT in the country, was initiated to respond to the numerous human capacity gaps created by the devolved governance structures as codified in the new constitution.
And the graduands who included two former Cabinet Ministers, Mohamud Mohamed Abdi and Maina Kamanda were unanimous about the importance of the training. “The course has equipped me with requisite skills to competently deliver my mandate to the electorate”, said Thika’s Market Ward councillor Michael Kaharu.
The leaders who are eying various elective seats in the upcoming General Elections received training in diverse areas such as resource mobilization, devolved systems of governance, health and life skills for development, entrepreneurship and human capital management and ICT aimed at increasing their ability to steer socio-economic development at the county levels.
While officiating the graduation ceremony, the acting Local Government Minister, Hon. Fred Gumo challenged the graduands to use the knowledge gained to positively transform leadership of county authorities for Socio-economic development.
“You must now embrace national values and principles of good governance, including integrity, transparency and accountability in line with constitutional aspirations and Kenya’s development blueprint of Vision 2030”, urged Hon. Gumo.
The Minister further lauded JKUAT for designing academic programmes that he said were highly progressive noting that, “the university’s culture of research and innovation continues to play a major role in the country’s development”.
The Chancellor, Prof. Francis Gichaga, who awarded the certificates, equally called on the civic leaders to promote national cohesion and integration. “You have a special role and duty to maintain and enhance peace and harmony “, averred the scholar.
The certificate in County governance programme was developed in partnership with the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya (ALGAK).
In a speech read on his behalf by Mrs. Rose Waruhiu, the Chairman of Council, Eng. Julius Riungu announced JKUAT had already embarked on developing a curriculum that he said would be used to launch an undergraduate training programme in County Governance.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said in commencing training in County Governance JKUAT was purely motivated in aiding the country to realize the full implementation of the devolved units spelled out in the new Constitution. Prof. Imbuga told the unique ceremony JKUAT was quick to establish the human capital implications following the promulgation of the new Constitution. ‘ The capacity gaps were not only huge but evidently required urgent attention ’ a situation Prof. Imbuga argued, inspired JKUAT to spearhead the initiative.
The ceremony was also addressed by officials of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya, notably its Chair and Secretary General; Cllr. Taraia ole Kores and Mr. Hamisi Mboga respectively.