Success Story - Launching the First Urban Economic Plans in Kenya

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Launching the First UEPs in Kenya

SUED’s Team Leader Duncan Onyango shows Isiolo’s Governor Mohamed Kuti the overall development framework plan in Isiolo’s UEP during the public launch with the Head of DFID Julius Court looking on

The Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED) is funded by the UK Government through the Department of International Development (DFID) to work with 12 municipalities in Kenya to develop Urban Economic Plans (UEPs) and attract investment for critical infrastructure and value chain projects. Over the past year SUED has worked closely with three of those municipalities namely Kitui, Malindi and Isiolo to develop their UEPs. The UEP is an advisory document that helps provide a focused urban and economic development strategy for the municipalities to deliver inclusive and sustainable economic growth for the municipalities.

The Programme worked with these three municipalities over the course of six months through vigorous stakeholder engagement, intuitive business surveys, social inclusion studies and helped the municipalities to prioritise economic opportunities, climate resilient infrastructure and value chain projects that would help maximise their economic potential. The Programme utilised a multi-tiered approach in preparation for the UEP launch for Isiolo and Malindi municipalities. A series of meetings were held with the municipality, county and community as well as private sector stakeholders. In these meetings the Programme shared the final UEP and how the County and Municipality will be able to utilise the plan going forward. The sessions entailed a question and answer session where participants sought clarity on the UEP and were helped to see how to actualise the proposed projects. In addition, SUED utilised these sessions to explain the downstream work for the Programme including how the capacity needs assessment would provide support and guidance in areas requiring strengthening to implement the UEP. Furthermore, during these pre-sessions the role of the investment attraction firm was explained and how critical their role was in validating the identified projects and attracting investors to the municipalities. Subsequent to the formal adoption of the UEPs by the respective Municipal Boards, the Programme worked with Isiolo and Malindi counties to launch the UEP through a highly publicised event. SUED held public launches of the UEP to share broadly with the municipal residents and potential beneficiaries its strategic approach for the municipalities. In Isiolo, the county and municipal leadership were in attendance and lauded the Programme’s support noting that Isiolo was the first municipality in the country to have a UEP and above all, the first of the 12 supported municipalities to launch its UEP. In Kilifi county, the Governor and his team were appreciative of the technical expertise provided by the Programme in ensuring that Malindi municipality was able to expand its unique market offer with the Governor H.E. Amason Kingi stating “The plan is going beyond the tourism sector that Malindi is known for and showing us how to diversify our economic activities to ensure that we are not over-reliant on one sector.�