On August 25, 2022, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o was sworn in for his second term as Governor of Kisumu City, Kenya. After 5 years at the helm of Kenya’s third largest city, he has managed to regain the trust of his fellow citizens after the general elections held on August 9.
Under his leadership, Kisumu County has been able to implement major projects from his campaign platform such as the upgrading and modernization of the region’s largest facility, the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital (JOOTRH). “A landmark development in the hospital is the construction of the Comprehensive Cancer Care and Blood Disorder Center to comprehensively manage cancers and other blood disorders“, Nyong’o said in his fourth State of the County Address. The Nyongo administration has built three new wards and increased the capacity from 600 to 850 beds at JOOTRH. In addition, the county government also installed an oxygen plant. Other achievements of his first term include the creation of a modern sports complex, the establishment of village councils, the construction of an ultramodern regional disaster and fire management center along Obote Road, and the holding of the 9th Africities Summit in Kisumu (May 17-21, 2022).
For the first time, an intermediate city hosted the Africities Summit, UCLG Africa’s flagship event held every 3 years in one of the five regions of the continent. In addition to meeting the challenge of organization, Kisumu broke the record of participation with 11,000 delegates present, a result that the governor of Kisumu wishes to see other intermediate cities achieve, because they must become structuring poles of sustainable development in Africa.
For his new mandate, in his manifesto entitled “Building the future on the foundations we have laid”, Nyong’o committed himself to revitalizing agriculture for food security and agribusiness. He wants to revive rice production, processing and marketing. Nyong’o has also pledged to invest in water, the environment and education by promoting skills development and innovation.
Internationally, the governor of Kisumu does not hesitate to advocate for the interests of local governments. For him, “the political liberation and economic emancipation of Africa cannot be one-country affair. By necessity, it must be a pan-African movement with international solidarity”. Since May 19, 2022, he is a member of the executive committee and the presidency of UCLG Africa in his capacity as elected Vice President for the East Africa region.
Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o graduated from Makerere University, Kampala, in 1971 with a BA (First Class Honours) in Political Science and Philosophy before proceeding to the University of Chicago where he received his MA (1974) and PhD (1977) in Political Science. He taught at the University of Nairobi (1977-81), El Colegio de Mexico (1971-84) and Addis Ababa University (1984-86) then joined the African Academy of Sciences as Head of Programs from 1987 to 1992. Having been involved in the struggle against authoritarian rule in Kenya throughout his academic career, he was among the leaders who made a breakthrough into the multiparty political system in 1992. He was then elected to Parliament in that year and has served in various capacities since then. He was Minister for Planning and National Development (2003-2005) and Minister for Medical Services (2008-2013), Senator of Kisumu County (2013-2017) and currently Governor of Kisumu County. He has published several books and articles on democracy, democratization, the state and the political economy of development in Africa. Among the publications are “Popular Struggles for Democracy in Africa”, (London: Zed Books, 1987); “The Study of African Politics: A Critical Appreciation of A Heritage” (Nairobi: Ball Foundation, 2002); “A Leap Into the Future” (Nairobi: Word Alive Publishers, 2095). In 1995 he was awarded the German-African Award for his contribution to democracy and democratization in Africa. He was recently Gro Harlem Brundland Senior Leadership Fellow in the Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development at the Harvard School of Public Health from Dec. 2013 to March 2014.