Deputy President William Ruto has been elected to represent Kenya and Africa in a global governance body for the next three years. The second in command was elected to serve in the steering committee of the Open Government Partnership, a leading platform that brings together government leaders and civil societies across the globe.
The organisation advocates to promote accountable, responsive and inclusive governance through civic participation, access to public information and leveraging on technology and innovation. It is based in Washington and was founded in 2011 by former US president Barack Obama. Currently, it has 78 countries and over 20 local governments with thousands of civil society organisations. Kenya, Canada, Italy and UK were competing to be elected into the steering committee with 82% of the governments participating in the election which was concluded on Monday, May 25.
The steering committee consists of 22 members – 11 from government and 11 from civil society. “Led by the government of Argentina and Robin Hodess, the steering committee’s main role is to develop, promote and safeguard the values, principles and interests of OGP. “The steering committee also establishes the core ideas, policies, and rules of the partnership, and oversees its functioning,” said OGP on its website. As in previous years, the election was done through a system where voters ranked candidates by preference. The top-ranked candidate received four points, which Kenya scored.
We are pleased to announce that the governments of Canada, Italy and Kenya have been elected by their peers to three-year terms on the OGP Steering Committee beginning on October 1,” read the OGP website. While hailing the DP’s prowess in representing Kenya, Korir Sing’oei, a Legal Adviser at the deputy president’s office, said election of the DP to the organisation would open Kenya’s membership to sub-national units and more civil societies.
“Kenya also stands to benefit as this leadership gives the country the platform needed to promote OGP principles of transparency, civic participation and use of technology beyond the current 13 members of OGP on the continent,” said Korir Sing’oei. The DP will provide guidance to the current 13 African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Cote d’lvoire, Tunisia and Morocco to implement OGP’s global campaign “Open Recovery + Open Response.