Abstract: The study focused on how ethnic polarization influenced governance in some aspects of economic ethnic polarization in Embu County, though not limited in scope to devolution between 2010 and 2022. The objective of the study was to: investigate the economic prospects of devolution in Embu County. The study was significant because apart from being an avenue for economic development, the success of devolution in Kenya indicated how constitutional democracy enhanced equitable economic development. It was envisioned that symbiotic patriotism transcended between the devolved government and the national government. The Hegemonic Exchange Theory (2016) by Rothchild and the Rising Expectations = Rising Frustrations Theory (1993) by Huntington and Learner, complemented each other and provided an opportunity to interpret the findings of the study. The review of related literature was guided by the research objective in the context of economic prospects of devolution but only limited to governance. The review sought to integrate the Theoretical Framework and paid attention to relevance, divergence, research gaps as well as personal views. The sample size was 130 respondents drawn from a target population of 608,599 (KPHC, 2019). Primary data was gathered through questionnaires, interviews and by examining relevant Government reports. The respondents for random sampling totaled 70 and that of purposive sampling to 60. Secondary data was sourced from articles in newspapers, journals, books from public and university libraries, theses including online sources. The study greatly relied on qualitative method of data collection and analysis. Data presentation was portrayed using descriptive statistics such as frequency tables, verbatim captions and pie-chart where applicable for effective understanding of data analysis. Devolution in Embu County offered sectorial prospects. However, equitable distribution of this sectorial economic infrastructure was one of the robust options of ethnic communities’ parity to bring about ethnic co-existence and sustainable peace in Embu County.
Keywords: Economic prospects, Devolution, economic ethnic polarization, governance, communities