Meet ICLD Alumni – Hon Johnson Osoi

Today we highlight an outstanding leader, mentor, an ICLD Alumni and a politician leader who is known to spearhead local democracy at local level – Hon Johnson Osoi.

A man of many firsts, he was the first speaker of County assembly of Kajiado, a position he held for two terms. Long serving chair of County Assemblies Forum (CAF) a umbrella body of the 47county assemblies that promote networking and synergy among all-County Assemblies, coordinate intergovernmental relations and enhance good practice in legislative development. Also unanimously elected to lead the taskforce of the 47 assemblies on national building bridges initiative (BBI). This was a national dialogue on proposed constitutional reforms.

Born and raised in Kajiado

Born and raised in the rural Kajiado County, home to the native Maasai tribe in Kenya. A semi-arid region known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich Maasai culture. He overcame several challenges to become the leader he is today.

As a true believer of inclusive and participatory democracy, speaker emeritus Osoi was disturbed by lack of coherent public participation structure in Kajiado county which hinders the achievement of interactive processes, where the duty bearer communicates information in a transparent and timely manner while engaging the public in decision making and being responsive and accountable to their needs.

Former participant of ICLD’s programme

A former participant in ICLD’s ITP programme Leadership in Local governance, Hon Johnson Osoi joined the ITP team with one purpose, to learn local governance best practices and implement lessons learnt in Kajiado county.

As the speaker of the county assembly then, Hon Osoi had an enormous task. The teams change project titled “enhancing public participation for Rural, Marginalized and Excluded Population in the vast semi-arid Kajiado County with scarcity of resources, high illiteracy and poverty levels, marginalisation of rural communities and cultural challenges and low public participation. However, one biggest handle was the lack of proper policies, laws & structures that promotes effective participation of women, excluded and marginalised cohorts.

An advocate of the high court of Kenya, an arbitrator and an accredited mediator under the judiciary of the republic of Kenya. He is a member of the faculty of the chartered institute of arbitrators, UK, Nairobi branch. With the support of the honorable MCAs and staff Osoi, spearheaded legal processes that would ensure increased public participation of women and other excluded and marginalized cohorts through enactment of laws and development of public participation structures & frameworks.

To achieve this, county assembly of Kajiado passed The Kajiado County village delineation administrative bill, a legislative process that saw the Kajiado ICLD-ITP team implement the learnings from the programme in its enactment. The purpose of this piece of legislation is to ensure that each village receives an equal opportunity to participate in all matters pertaining to the County Government. More so Hon Osoi introduced a unique practice called “Bunge mashinani concept” where the County Assembly held its parliamentary proceedings in public places, in different wards increased an understanding of the functions of the legislature to the people of Kajiado and as a result, issues raised by the electorate during these forums led to the development of a private members’ bills e.g the Kajiado County Water harvesting Bill.

Today, thanks to Hon Osoi’s courage, resolve and determination and good team leading, the number of women participating in public participation in Kajiado rose from 15% to 47% (Kajiado county assembly data) and saw more increased numbers of marginalised cohorts given opportunities to air their views, also strategically increasing the collaborations and partnerships with civil/grassroots organisations in Kajiado county.

Appointed by the President

He was recently appointed by H.E the President of the Republic of Kenya as the chairperson of the board of trustees of LAPFUND, the second largest pension scheme in the Country which was established in 1960. We are truly proud of this achievement and we congratulate him on this appointment and wish him well as he provides leadership and guidance in this critical and national role.

He aspires to continue being a resourceful alumnus and contribute to democracy in the continent of Africa.

Sustainable Development Goals
17 - Partnerships for the goals
International partner
Kajiado County Government
Alumni, ICLD Alumni,