Wednesday, 09 August 2023 04:42


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The Council of Governors in collaboration with stakeholders, organized the Children’s Devolution Conference, 2023 themed “Empowering Young Voices: A Decade of Devolution and the Future of Children in Kenya” from 3rd - 7th July 2023 at the M-pesa Foundation, Kiambu County. This provided a platform for children to reflect on their experiences in the last 10 years of devolution for enhanced service delivery that’s responsive to children’s needs.

The Conference was a precursor to the Devolution Conference, 2023 to be held from 15th – 19th August, 2023 at the Eldoret Sports Club in Uasin Gishu County. Further, it was an opportunity for the Children of Kenya to add their voice to the discussions that will take place during the August 2023 Conference.

Article 53 of the Constitution guarantees children basic rights. Kenya has ratified international treaties to protect children from abuse and neglect. However, a report on the status of children rights published by humanium, shows that children in Kenya still face challenges such as sexual violence, lack access to healthcare services while those in school have to bear with poor infrastructure and congested spaces. This has hindered their progress and development, denying them their fundamental rights and freedom.

Sustained participation of children and young adults in governance seeks to entrench child-responsive service delivery in the service delivery structures. Speaking at the Conference, the Council of Governors Vice Chair, assured the children on the importance of their involvement in decision-making in Kenya.

“The ideas you will share will play a key role in shaping the next course of action in Devolution. Children’s voices are treasured, a beacon of hope that guides us towards a brighter, more inclusive, compassionate Kenya,” said Governor Ahmed Abdullahi.

“Devolution empowers communities including Children to be part of shaping their destinies. Your dreams and aspirations matter and that’s why we are here to listen, to learn, and to act on your ideas,” added the Vice Chair.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang reiterated the importance of stronger intergovernmental relations to ensure the future of the Children is secured.

“I wish to appreciate and acknowledge the critical role the County Governments play in Early Childhood Education. County Governments are making a difference by building a confident future. We shall continue to work with the County Governments and the Children of Kenya to

continuously improve and develop policies that will positively impact the Children, ensure we equip our teachers, and ensure all the necessary learning tools are available for our children,” said Dr. Kipsang.

46% of Kenya’s population is below the age of 15 years with about 86% of this population attending primary school. Speaking during the meeting, H.E Kimani Wamatangi, emphasized the need for proper planning by the National and County Governments, to ensure holistic growth and development of Children.

The Conference brought together students from the 47 Counties; 2 primary school learners per County, 2 secondary school learners per County, 1 learner with disability per County and 2o learners from ECDE Centers from the Host County. National Council for Persons with Disability CEO Mr. Hassan Harun commended the Council of Governors for organizing the Conference.

“I wish to congratulate the Council of Governors for convening the most inclusive conference ever held in Kenya. I have seen differently-abled persons from all over the Country in the meeting” said Mr. Harun.

Nyeri Governor H.E Mutahi Kahiga confirmed this while delivering his address to the Children noting that the Children had elected a differently-abled child as their Governor during their mock election.

“I thank you children of Kenya for leading by example by conducting a democratic mock election and giving every candidate an equal opportunity. Through that mock election, you managed to elect a Governor who is differently abled and his Deputy who is a woman,” said Governor Kahiga. He further reiterated that inclusivity is very important and must be mainstreamed at both the National and County level.

The Conference culminated with a communique which will be submitted to H.E President William Ruto by the Children’s Governor and Deputy Governor on 16th August 2023 during the official opening of the Devolution Conference. Further, the communique will be part of the Conference resolutions that will be taken up by different stakeholders for implementation.

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