Kenya's Renewed Path to Sustainable Development: Highlights from the 11th Development Partnerships Forum
24 November 2023
The 11th Development Partnerships Forum calls for strengthened cooperation and coordination between the Kenyan Government and development partners to Kenya.
In a significant stride towards sustainable development, the Deputy President, H.E. Rigathi Gachagua, together with the UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya, Dr Stephen Jackson, and the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Kenya, Maarten Brouwer, gathered the Kenyan Government and development partners on 22 to discuss priorities and obstacles for strengthened cooperation and coordination between the Kenyan Government and development partners to Kenya. The “Development Partnerships Forum” was the first in five years and as so marked a renewed commitment to effective development cooperation under Kenya's growing bilateral and multilateral relations.
The Deputy President, H.E. Rigathi Gachagua, emphasized the Government of Kenya's dedication to principles of effective development cooperation, including ownership of development priorities, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency.
“The Development Partnerships Forum is a collective commitment to advancing our nation's development agenda and fostering effective collaboration between the Government and our Development Partners,”
Deputy President, H.E Rigathi Gachagua.
The Deputy President assured mutual commitment to advancing efficient development coordination and announced the launch of the International Development Partnerships Coordination Unit in his office, symbolizing a tangible step towards operationalizing these principles and ambitions for strengthened coordination.
Ambassador Maarten Brouwer – speaking in his capacity as co-chair of the Development Partners Group to Kenya – highlighted the forum’s timeliness amid global crises, including climate change and socioeconomic challenges. He stressed the importance of aligning development efforts with the Kenyan Government’s priorities, specifically the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) and Medium-Term Plan IV (MTPIV). This alignment, Brouwer asserted, is crucial for effective interventions, transparent decisions and ultimately sustainable development for all Kenyans.
Dr. Stephen Jackson, the UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya – also speaking in capacity as co-chair of the Development Partners Group - underscored the importance of visibility in aid efforts and the challenges of quantifying fragmented aid. Dr. Jackson emphasised the need for a more consolidated view of aid efforts in Kenya, comprising loans, grants, and various sources.
“There is need for increased transparency, especially on support to Kenya through implementing partners such as the UN or NGOs (off-budget support), in order for both the Kenyan Government and development partners to get a more holistic picture of support to Kenya – who does what, where and how - and how this aligns with the Government’s key priorities,” stated the Resident Coordinator.
Dr Jackson also called for a strengthened focus not just on the numbers but on the tangible results and impacts of support, aligning with the Paris principles of aid effectiveness.
Prof. Njuguna Ndung'u, Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury & Economic Planning, emphasised the importance of tax policy and institutional reforms. He spoke about the collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the establishment of a monitoring unit and scorecard for effective implementation and progress tracking.
The forum concluded with a commitment to align external development assistance with the Government's National Agenda and to increase inter-agency and sectoral meetings.
The Forum concluded with a joint statement, encapsulating the shared vision of the Government of Kenya and development partners to, among other things, align development partners’ support with the Kenyan Government’s development priorities (BETA and MTP IV); promote effective coordination, alignment, and harmonization and joint accountability for results and sound management of development resources; increase transparency around support; and to support Kenya’s macroeconomic framework and mechanisms to enhance tax compliance.
The “Development Partnerships Forum” is the highest-level forum for structured dialogue between the Kenyan Government and development partners to Kenya. The next meeting, scheduled for the Spring of 2024, will follow-up on commitments and priorities identified on 22 November.