Kenyan Parliament Given Major Boost for New Constitution Reform and Implementation
Together with the National Assembly of Kenya, the SUNY/CID Kenya Parliamentary Strengthening Program (PSP) will be overseeing the use of US $10 million dollars to support the implementation of a new Constitution. The announcement of the funding from the United States government came from the US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger. In the announcement Ambassador Ranneberger stated, "We will intensify support for parliamentary committees and research and technical assistance for parliamentarians. We will build the capacity of staff and other technical units of parliaments." The funding was warmly received by the Kenyan National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Clerk Patrick Gichohi. Also in attendance at the announcement was Fred Matiangi, CID's Chief of Party for the Kenya project.
Speaker Marende highlighted several initiatives and reforms in the Kenyan Parliament that would be supported by this assistance saying, "This is a momentous occasion because parliamentary programmes are set to break new grounds for improvements" These improvements include increased training for current staff in the operations of a bicameral parliament as well as a refurbished Chamber that will house all 67 Senators as required by the new Constitution. The institution of an electronic voting system, the establishment of a broadcasting unit for the senate, and new Standing Orders (House rules of procedure) are also all slated to begin in the near future.
The US and the Kenyan Parliament have partnered for the past ten years through SUNY/CID's Parliamentary Strengthening Programme, and Mr. Marende pointed to increased staff capacity, a new press center, and other structural reforms as some of the key results from that collaboration. Ambassador Ranneberger commended the Speaker and the Parliament for their "strong and historic leadership in Kenya's momentous governance reform process." To learn more about SUNY/CID's work in Kenya and our other projects around the world visit this link to our Projects Page.