Supporting sustainable urban economic growth in Kenya
Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme
Kenya is currently facing the challenges of sustaining its rapid urbanisation. Prior to the country’s new devolved governance system, which came into effect after the promulgation of the 2010 Kenyan Constitution and after the 2013 General Election, Kenya lacked strong institutional capacity at the municipal level to manage the development of urban centres across the country. This resulted in uncontrolled development, an increase in informal settlements and the urban poor, and environmental degradation.
To combat these issues, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) selected Coffey, A Tetra Tech Company, to implement the Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) program.
Through SUED, Tetra Tech is working with the Kenyan national government to build the capacity of up to ten municipalities to better address demographic, security, and economic development challenges; thereby contributing to Kenya’s President’s Big Four priorities—manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and food security—and strengthening the United Kingdom’s modern partnership with Kenya. The program team is working with these municipalities to better invest in sustainable urban development that will support a more stable, secure, and prosperous Kenya.
As the managing partner for SUED, Tetra Tech is providing project management support and technical oversight for capacity building activities, such as urban economic planning and investor attraction with the ten selected municipalities. We also are supporting the effective operational delivery of SUED by overseeing sub-contractor and partner management.
Tetra Tech’s team will work with capacity building firms to provide the selected municipalities with urban economic planners, investment climate advisers, investment experts, and other capacity building specialists that will help enable the municipalities to enhance their capacity and generate revenue to manage the increased activity after SUED ends. These experts will help develop integrated and sustainable plans to accomplish several objectives: spur inclusive growth hubs of the future; address policy and regulatory constraints to private sector-led urban development; implement investment promotion strategies and draw in investment, including public-private partnerships to fund commercially bankable climate-resilient infrastructure and value chain projects; and support priorities identified in the urban economic plans.
Results and Innovations
The program aims to strengthen capacity at the municipality level to better plan for urbanization and climate-resilient and sustainable growth and implement urban economic planning effectively. It also will work to promote policy and legislation changes to enable greater private sector led growth; raise investment for critical bankable, climate-resilient infrastructure and value chain projects; increase availability of climate-resilient jobs; and improve rural links with larger markets that were previously difficult to access.
“No country has reached high-income status without urbanisation… the UK-funded Sustainable Urban Economic Development programme is uniquely placed to support the Government of Kenya to diversify and create opportunities for fast-growing regions that have been historically marginalised, fostering balanced growth in underdeveloped urban centres in Kenya."
Nic Hailey, former UK High Commissioner to Kenya