Kisumu County Passes Law for Regional Bloc Ahead of Bomet Summit
Kisumu County Assembly has become the latest to pass a bill that ratifies its entry to the 14-member Lake Region Economic Bloc ahead of the summit’s second meeting in Bomet next week.
The county assembly joins Kisii and Kakamega assemblies which had earlier passed the framework to share economic resources with other counties that make the bloc. Other members of the Lake Region bloc include Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya, Bungoma, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho, Nyamira, Busia, and Bomet.
The bill was unanimously passed in the Kisumu assembly giving the ratification the blessings as the county seeks to benefit from the bloc economically. A section of the MCAs, was, however, adamant that the bloc should suspend the formation of a regional bank, and instead deal with more pertinent issues like the revival of dead sugar industries.
“We have more important issues such as insecurity, collapsed industries and clannism to address in our counties. Pillars of this bloc should not be premised on a regional bank,” said Mr. Genga, an MCA in the county.
The 14 counties meet in Bomet next week for a summit that had been planned to mark the launch of a regional bank. The Nandi county has however hinted that it may not deposit Sh200 million seed capital that is required from each county.
According to Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is the chairman of the bloc, the establishment of the bank will be essential in ensuring that the region’s tea sector, sugarcane, and fish farming are revived.
Among other initial plans that the bloc intended to work on included; upgrade of airstrips in all counties, the establishment of a fruit processing plant and construction of Lake Victoria ring road.
At least 35 out of 47 county governments in Kenya, which are brought together by common interests, have shown interest in forming regional blocs in a bid to drive growth plans and speed up economic development.
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