Kenya's devolution of government with Brenda Ogembo


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Kenya’s 2010 constitution introduced substantial changes to the vertical allocation of political power that has been exercised at two tiers of government since then: the central government and the 47 counties. Despite the devolution of many of Kenya's government functions, the country is organized as a unitary state, and hence county governments are not as independent as in a truly federal structure. Yet, devolution is giving the subnational governments significant political decision making power by defining the functions that the lower tiers of government can exercise.

With Brenda Ogembo I discuss the many different facets of Kenya’s devolution since 2010. She explains the historic background of the struggle for political power between the center and the various regions and tribes of Kenya. Brenda is convinced that the Kenyan people are generally satisfied with having more political responsibilities and power at the county level, while the implementation is of course challenging.

I also ask her about the electoral systems used for county government elections, and the role of international development partners in citizen participation. We really do tap into a great variety of topics around devolution in Kenya.

Brenda Ogembo is a democracy and governance expert and works as a Principal Clerk Assistant for the Senate Legislative and Procedural Services at the Parliament of Kenya. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Governance from the University of Birmingham. What makes this conversation so fascinating is that Brenda not only has done extensive research on Kenya’s devolution, but that she has many years of experience working for the parliament in Kenya implementing such processes and thus providing first-hand experiences.

Find the show notes with links to all material discussed here:

Find out more about Brenda's research here.

Follow Brenda on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Now please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Brenda Ogembo.

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