NAIROBI– President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched two programmes which will see the National Government injectig 50 billion shillings (about 500 million US dollars) as performance-based conditional grants to boost the capacity of the 43 county governments to deliver quality services to Kenyans.

The President announced the launch of the Kenya Devolution Support Programme and the Kenya Urban Support Programme in a speech delivered during the opening of the 5th Annual Devolution Conference Tuesday. His address was televised live from State House Nairobi.

Both programmes, combined, will inject 50 billion shillings into county governments, to help them build and improve the systems that support their staff, and their delivery of services, he told county the governments.

The theme of the five-day 5th Annual Devolution Conference held at Kakamega High School in the Western Kenya traditional capital of Kakamega is Sustainability, productivity, effective and efficient governments for results delivery.

President Kenyatta emphasized that the adoption of the two programmes demonstrated his Administration’s commitment to devolution of government which truly works and serves every Kenyan.

The President lauded the success of devolution, saying more than one trillion shillings had been transferred to counties to take essential services closer to the people in the last five years. He said the successful implementation of the devolved system of government has proved many wrong.

He observed that eight years ago when the country ushered in a new constitutional dispensation, few could have imagined that Kenyans would today be celebrating five transformative years of devolution. There are, indeed, many doubting Thomases out there, who did not expect a democracy as young as ours to so effectively manage the most fundamental change in our governance since independence, President Kenyatta said.

But to the surprise of many, in a short period of five years, we have firmly established a new tier of government, and held two sets of elections to it.