The market development department of the Ministry of Local Government has since its creation in 2007 completed 135 markets distributed in all counties, against a target of 70 markets in the medium term plan of the Kenya Vision 2030 over the period. The markets are in various categories, namely hubs, wholesale and retail markets. There are others that fall under the economic stimulus programme. All are critical in the Government’s effort to raise earnings by giving Kenya’s large informal sector opportunities to transform itself into an efficient, multi-tiered, diversified in product range and innovative player in the economy.
The markets have become key economic drivers and are a link between production and consumption. They are also a unique source of employment opportunities, wealth generation and intra- and inter-community peace.
These are regional markets, which act as a distribution point of products of above seven tonnes. Five have been completed and seven are still under construction. The hubs have cold storage facilities for preserving fresh produce to reduce wastage and loss, lorry parks, weigh bridges, integrated ICT systems, light processing industries and a regional catchment area.
These are large markets where traders deliver produce in bulk for sale or further distribution to retail markets or exporters. Seven have been completed and five are still being constructed. The facilities at these markets include wholesale sheds and pellets, offices ablution blocks and water points.
These are points of sale for products in small quantities to consumers directly. The retail sector is expected to expand substantially as Kenya’s economy moves towards a 10 per cent growth target as envisaged in the country’s economic blue print, Vision 2030. Nineteen markets have been completed and 13 are ongoing, sur-passing a target of 10 markets set out in the first medium term plan of the Vision 2030.
Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) markets
The facilities developed under ESP are aimed at boosting activities in every constituency, offer hygienic environment for trading of fresh produce, create employment, generate wealth and generally improve the living standards of Kenyans in line with Vision 2030. Facilities available at ESP mar- kets include sheds, offices, ablution blocks, water tanks and refuse bins
The ESP markets are smaller entities at various market centres to allow small-scale traders to sell their goods in friendlier environments. From 2010 when the ESP markets project started, 104 have been com- pleted, 92 are ongoing, with 66 above 50 per cent completion, and 15 are yet to start. Some Kshs2.31 billion ($27.2 million) has been allocated for this programme at Kshs11 million ($129,411) for every market.
Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya
Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya (Algak) is a member of the consultative group of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for defining the role of local authorities. Algak is working with the Ministry of Local Government on the proposed Bills that affect the devolved government and local authorities.
The association is also seeking ways of ensuring that local authorities and county governments have the capacity to demand their rightful share of responsibilities and resources to run their operations. Algak also mobilises members to advocate for good governance. The association and the ministry are partnering with the Fiscal Decentralisation Knowledge Programme (FKDP) to undertake county case studies designed to generate information to be used by the Government and other stakeholders in identifying key transition issues, with specific focus on:
- Service delivery systems, including an examination of the level and cost of ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ urban services being delivered and implications for decentralised ‘front line’ services such as health and agricultural extension
- Public Financial Management capacity in both district and local authorities, broadly defined to include revenues and expenditure management, including a mapping of existing funding flows.
- Nature and effectiveness of social accountability in the new Counties, drawing on lessons from current practice.
The case studies are expected to generate practical recommendations to inform Kenya’s decision makers, and address major transition issues relating to the implementation of the new constitutional arrangements at the county level. The studies would also establish a baseline of current practice in the districts and local authorities that will form the base of the new counties.