British and Irish diplomats join fellow European Ambassadors to discuss frontier county challenges in Kenya

Nic Hailey and Vincent O’Neill at ASALs meeting
Nic Hailey and Vincent O’Neill joined fellow EU Heads of Mission at the meeting hosted by Mette Knudsen. Photo: Twitter/Devolution254

On Friday, UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Irish Ambassador Dr Vincent O’Neill joined fellow European Union Heads of Mission and Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) governors for preliminary talks on the commonality of challenges faces by the frontier counties in Kenya.

 At the breakfast meeting, hosted by Danish Ambassador Mette Knudsen, the need for joint cooperation strategies including support for policies which help develop Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs) to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities were also discussed.

During the meeting, the diplomats discussed support for the Moyale Cross Border project, youth engagement, creating jobs and anti-radicalisation programmes.

Kenya’s State Department for Development of the ASALs implements special programmes for the promotion of social-economic development, provides food relief, supports rehabilitation of street families and mobilises communities to participate in their development.

EU in Kenya Mission Heads at devolution meeting
The EU Heads of Mission met with Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) governors. Photo: Twitter/EUinKenya

Cabinet Secretary for Kenya’s Ministry of Devolution and ASALs Eugene L Wamalwa emphasised the need for a paradigm shift from relief to resilience despite the challenges posed by climate change.

He added that the legal and policy framework for Regional Economic Blocs will be ready by the end of January next year and once implemented this law will strengthen Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

Tweeting about the meeting, UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey described the discussions as “good” and said that support for ASALs was the “biggest priority for UKAid as we work to leave no one behind in Kenya’s development.”

First Deputy Governor of Isiolo, Mohamed Simba Guleid responded by thanking Mr Hailey for his “steadfast support for FCD matters.”

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