Kenya government officials at the national and county level, alongside non-state actors, have been working together to develop a guiding national agricultural framework following devolution. USAID, through Feed the Future’s Africa Lead program, has provided technical support to these efforts, including the coordination, drafting, and development of Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation Strategy (ASGTS), as well as the country’s investment plan to meet the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) Malabo Declaration commitments. The ASTGS and the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) have been finalized are now ready to be launched and rolled out countrywide in 2019.
To prepare for the ASTGS dissemination, Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation (MoALF) identified the need for capacity building in leadership and collaborative planning for key leaders at national, county, and agriculture sector institutions. Through a two-day Champions for Change training, a total of 35 participants from national and county government were brought together to create a cadre of champions among senior leadership, who understand the importance of agriculture for the country’s socio-economic development, and embrace the important roles they must play to achieve that development. Directors from various state departments in the MoALF represented the national government, whereas counties were represented by the County Executive Committee Members (CECMs). The training focused on building a shared understanding of county and national agricultural development milestones, the ASGTS, and changes required to improve the food and nutrition security situation in the country.
A participant receiving a certificate after the workshop from Susan Imende-Acting Director General, Kenya Fisheries Service. Photo Credit-Josphat Muiyuro, Africa Lead
On day one, participants were educated on the CAADP framework, with a focus on the major commitments of the Malabo Declaration. A review of the 1st Biennial Review (2018) and Kenya’s performance highlighted the need for country-level champions to achieve continental goals. Discussions between participants focused on agricultural priorities for Kenya in the Vision 2030, the “Big Four Agenda”, the ASTGS and the County Integrated Development Plans. Participants discussed the food security situation in their respective counties by reviewing the status of the food and nutrition security in Kenya. Time was also taken to review the “Status Report of the Kenya National Food Security by KNBS and University of Nairobi, 2014”. At the end of the day, participants were given a chance to reflect and brainstorm on the challenges and opportunities in county agriculture development.
The second day of the training focused on improving participants’ abilities to lead and manage change, with a focus on the critical components and skills for transformational leadership.
At the end of the training, participants from the counties expressed the need to have the training replicated in their respective counties. As Africa Lead prepares for its final year and to close down Kenya activities, the program is working with other USAID partners who can carry on similar trainings in the future. Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems, a USAID funded project implemented by RTI, is a potential partner; their Director of Agricultural Policy & Institutional Capacity Development, Dr. Josephine Songa attended the training. The participants are to send Africa Lead updates on their immediate actions to ensure agriculture transformation is taking place in their respective counties. A similar Africa Lead facilitated training has been organized for the top MoALF leadership to be held in May 2019.