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British government’s Sh8b to spur urbanisation

Fred Aminga @faminga

The British government has launched an Sh8 billion Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) programme to help urban centres grow faster and deepen development.

All the 47 counties are expected to apply to the programme and propose regions that should be supported by SUED but only 10 viable counties will benefit after the selection.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, who presided over the launch, said the programme is one of the indicators that the UK is supporting Kenya’s economic reform agenda.

“No country has reached high-income status without urbanisation. If urbanisation fails to create opportunities or if it is poorly planned, then it can lead to poverty and create exclusion. Therefore, this programme will ensure successful urbanisation across Kenya,” said Hailey.

Hailey said the Kenyan economy is growing fast and its high ranking in the recent World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index at position 61 out of 190 from position 80 in 2017 shows big improvement in reforms agenda and commended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to the Big Four agenda which among its pillar targets affordable housing for all.

SUED which is an Sh8 billion, the five-year programme is supported by the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa recommended that the programme is extended to accommodate a town from each of the 47 counties. “Urbanisation needs sound planning.

This will help accommodate half of Kenya’s population which will be living in urban centres by 2050,” said Kiambu governor and Council of Governors chair of urban development and planning Ferdinand Waititu. Lands CS Farida Karoney said in the last 50 years, the country has suffered poor urban planning.

“The ministry of lands has not given priority on planning hence a reflection of the country poor spatial planning,” she said.

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