The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Moses Cheboi, has lauded the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for their continued collaboration with the National Assembly, which has seen them develop capacity for members of the National Assembly and staff, over the years.

Speaking when he graced the official closing ceremony of a two-day African Regional Seminar organised by the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) at the Great Rift Valley Lodge, Naivasha, Cheboi said the organisations have been at the forefront of running programmes that are geared towards strengthening political parties, supporting women and youth participation in politics, while promoting avenues for citizen engagement in governance and exchange programs, driven by an insatiable desire to advance the ideals of open governance and accountability.

Cheboi further observed that the partnership with the National Assembly had largely influenced the architecture of some key House Departments that have been established lately.

“The National Assembly is indebted to the House Democracy Partnership for the support offered when establishing the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and the Parliamentary Research Services (PRS) that were modeled along the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Congressional Research Services (CRS), respectively,” Cheboi noted. 

He appealed to HDP and IRI to further deepen this cooperation so that Kenya can continue to tap from their invaluable insights and experiences. 

The Seminar convened under the theme ‘Becoming an Effective Representative: Keys to Successful Constituent Communication and Policy Development’ brought together 26 First Time Members of the National Assembly and three Members of the House of Representatives of Liberia. 

 Participants held deliberations on thematic areas: Overview of the Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Officials; How to develop Responsive and Inclusive Legislations; Becoming an Effective Member of Parliament; Key Component in a System of Checks and Balances; Public Hearing as a Vehicle for Legislation and Legislating within Ethical Guidelines to gain Citizen Trust.

Among the key speakers at the two-day Seminar were former US Congressmen, Thomas Petri and Mike Kopetski. 

Others were Mr. Kevin Cassey, Democratic Caucus Policy Director, US House of Representatives and Mr. John Tomaszewski, the IRI Africa Regional Director.

Also in attendance, was the Clerk of the National Assembly, Michael Sialai.