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Elgeyo Marakwet County selected for the Open Government Partnership(OGP) global support

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Elgeyo Marakwet County is among 15 regional governments in the world picked for support by the global Open Government Partnership (OGP) based in the United States.

Elgeyo Marakwet is the only County in Kenya that successfully got inclusion into this partnership which will see the County endorsed to receive support from development and donor agencies across the world.

The County joins Kigoma Municipality in Tanzania and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana as the only three regional governments chosen for this support in Africa.

Other regional governments among the 15 include Austin in the US, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Jalisco (Mexico) La Libertad (Peru), Ontario (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Madrid (Spain), Paris (France), Scotland (UK), Bojonegoro (Indonesia), Seoul (Korea) and Tbilisi (Georgia).

The 15 regional governments emerged winners from a pool of 45 governments around the world that were considered. The regional governments are a new inclusion to the already existing OGP programme founded 5 years ago in the US and which Kenya, as a national government, is a part of.

According to the OGP website, Elgeyo Marakwet County and the other 14 regional governments picked as the first pioneers had distinguished themselves as open and responsive governments.

OGP Chief Executive Sanjay Pradhan said he was impressed with the desire by the regional governments to transform the lives of their people at local level.

“Strengthening open governments at the local level can directly improve citizens’ lives because many crucial public services are administered locally. I know how important transparency and accountability are at all levels of government and how much their absence impacts all levels of society,” he said.

Among the areas lauded by OGP for the inclusion of Elgeyo Marakwet was its enactment and implementation of Public Participation Act that gives citizens an avenue to have their input included in the County Governance.

The Washington DC based organization also lauded the Equitable Development Act (EDA) that seeks to further devolve funds in the County equitably to its 20 wards.

Elgeyo Marakwet further got commendation for making access to information by its citizens easy by publishing crucial information such as its budgets and tendering processes online, thus facilitating transparency and accountability.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos was among heads of the 15 regional governments who travelled to Paris, France recently to sign the County’s commitment to the OGP engagement.

“Our inclusion in this programme as the only County in Kenya goes to demonstrate that we could be a small county but we are doing great things,” Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Gabriel Lagat told journalists yesterday.

Briefing the media ahead of the OGP-Elgeyo Marakwet official launch in Iten on Friday this week, Lagat said the County had also practiced good governance by curbing corruption thus putting taxpayers’ money into good use.

“The latest Corruption Index in counties by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission rates our County as among the least corrupt counties in Kenya,” he said.

The deputy Governor also cited a report by the World Bank titled ‘Big Cities, Bright Lights’ which also placed the County as the second fastest growing counties in terms of private sector growth after Siaya County.

“This is because of the enabling environment and the development policies we have put in place that spurred this growth through strategies such as infrastructural development,” he added.

Lagat also referred to an Ipsos Synovate countrywide survey on best performing counties which placed Elgeyo Marakwet among the top 10 and at number six in the Country.

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