British High Commissioner Nic Hailey and UK Department for International Development (DfID) country head Julius Court were in Kilifi county yesterday for the Malindi Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) programme implementation launch.
Malindi is the largest town in Kilifi County which was formed in 2010 as a result of a merger of Kilifi District and Malindi District. Kilifi is the county capital.
SUED is a £60 million, five-year programme supported by the British Government through the DfID. The programme aims to support up to 10 fast growing municipalities to develop sustainable urban economic plans and attract investment for critical infrastructure and value chain projects.
Malindi is 1 of 10 municipalities in Kenya who were successful in bidding to participate in the new Ksh 8 billion programme and locally, it will support includive economic development.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Hailey said the British government, through the SUED programme “is helping create places where people connect, where dreams become reality and where success can be achieved.”
“We want to see how to work with Malindi to be a place of connection that inspires lives,” he added.
Congratulating Malindi on being the first municipality where Sued is being launched, the High Commissioner said the county “should be very proud”.
Explaining why sustainable, inclusive urbanisation matters, Mr Hailey said: “Towns and cities are places where young people come for opportunities and to realise their potential. This is about ensuring towns and cities allow them to realise that potential”.
Kilifi County Governor Amason Jeffah Kingi said “Malindi’s economy is going to change with SUED support.”
“Our people will have thriving economic activities beyond tourism,” he added.
Outlining his vision to create opportunities by diversifying the local economy and developing value chains, Governor Kingi said that the programme “will change the lives of the dwellers of (Malindi)”.
“Malindi will be reborn in the eye of not only Kenya but the world,” he told the Kilifi County Assembly.
Later, the Governor Tweeted: “We will collaborate with all development partners in order to spur economic growth in Malindi municipality including broadening our economic activities; agro-processing using the fisheries industry, creating supply chains and creating sustainable employment for our people.”
During his visit to Kilifi, Mr Hailey also opened the enhanced Sabaki Bridge vehicle checkpoint.
Built with UK support, the enhanced checkpoint will allow for effective searching of vehicles whilst minimising disruption to traffic flow.