Empowering Young Voices: A Decade of Devolution and the Future of Children in Kenya

Empowering Young Voices: A Decade of Devolution and the Future of Children in Kenya

This year, the country marked a decade since the devolved system of government started. The Council of Governors, in partnership with ActionAid International Kenya and other CSOs, organized the Children’s Devolution Conference, which was themed “Empowering Young Voices: A Decade of Devolution and the Future of Children in Kenya” The event took place from 3rd – 7th July 2023 at the M-pesa Foundation, Kiambu County.

AAIK Executive Director, Susan Otieno (second from right) during a panel discussion at the Children Devolution Conference. On the panel is Vihiga County Governor Wilberforce Ottichilo and Children reps from the counties.

The conference provided a platform for children to reflect on their experiences in the last 10 years of devolution for enhanced service delivery that is responsive to their needs. Representatives of children from the 47 counties got an opportunity to engage with leaders on matters affecting them and propose solutions. ActionAid International Kenya (AAIK) supported 30 children and chaperones from Kisumu, Baringo, Isiolo, Garissa, Kilifi, and Homabay counties.

During one of the panel discussions, AAIK Executive Director Ms. Susan Otieno highlighted how counties working with partners can create an enabling environment for child-led Climate Action. She emphasized that it requires collective effort and commitment from all stakeholders to amplify children’s voices.

ActionAid Kenya Executive Director, Susan Otieno at the Children Devolution Conference.

“Climate change has adverse effects on children. The absence of children from school owing to a drought. This absence causes the loss of their parents’ means of livelihood, leading to an early marriage and lost educational prospects. The long-lasting effects of climate change affect the holistic development of children.” said Susan Otieno

The Conference culminated with a communique that 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 different stakeholders will take up for implementation.

AAIK will be part of the committee that will devise strategies to ensure that the next Children’s Devolution conference delivers the promises to the children.


Author: Hannah Munyao, Fundraising Coordinator, ActionAid Kenya. Edited by Ezra Kiriago, Communications Coordinator ActionAid Kenya.




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