By Kenya Confidential International Affairs Editor, May 31, 2020
Kenya is among the three administrations elected on the steering committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global body with representation from 78 countries and a growing number of local governments.
Together with Canada and Italy, Kenya will serve for a period of three years after winning an election that had four candidates including the United Kingdom.
The UK lost due to the election process which advocated for regional balance with Canada and Kenya landing automatic selection regardless of the results.
The results of the OGP steering election. Due to the OGP’s regional balance system, the Governments of Canada and Kenya would be automatically selected regardless of the voting results.
“However, given that there would be a single vacant seat for the European region, only one of the two European candidates (Italy or the UK) would be selected as determined by the highest number of points received,” a statement on the organisation’s website read.
Kenya’s Deputy President Ruto in an address to the organization in January 2020 pledged to support implementation and political goodwill from the Kenyan government.
“In line with our program on openness, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed an order to set up committees at the country, regional, and technical levels and the Committee of Cabinet that will assemble accurate, real-time information on the implementation of government projects and programs from every ward to the national level, so that citizens and civil society can have access on our government portal to accurate, up-to-date, real-time information so that government can be more open, and citizens and civil society can oversee our government programs,” he remarked at the time.
Kenya’s Deputy President Ruto (centre) during the launch of the third open government national partnership action plan in January 28, 2020
OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan congratulated the three governments on being elected to lead the global partnership.
“We warmly welcome these governments joining the Steering Committee at a time when democracy was already facing its greatest threat and now amidst the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. The leadership role of our Steering Committee is critical to bringing together governments, civil society, and other stakeholders to ensure open and effective response and recovery that builds citizen trust and reinvigorates democracy post-COVID-19,” he stated.
Within the committee, Kenya’s role will be to develop, promote, and safeguard the values, principles, and interests of OGP.
OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan. He congratulated the three governments on being elected to lead the global partnership
The committee that will be led by the Government of Argentina, has been tasked with establishing the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees its functioning.
“The Government of Argentina congratulates Canada, Italy and Kenya on their election as government members of the Steering Committee. We look forward to working together to leverage our leadership role to shape and deliver on OGP’s ambitious vision to build more transparent, inclusive, and participatory governments” the Undersecretary of Open Government and Digital Nation of Argentina Cesar Gazzo Huck stated. The Steering Committee consists of 22 members – 11 from the government and 11 from civil society. This is the seventh rotation of the OGP Steering Committee since OGP was launched in September 2011.
Almost ten years after it was founded, OGP brings together government leaders and civil society advocates in seventy-eight countries to promote accountable, responsive and inclusive governance.
Former US President Obama at the Open Government Partnership Event on September 20, 2011