Regional economic blocs draw mixed reactions from delegates

Senate Assembly Speaker Ken Lusaka (center) with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Kisumu Senator Fred Outa (right) during the 4th Legislative Summit in Kisumu on April 15, 2019. [Denish Ochieng]

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa says formation of regional economic blocs is a good idea that will see counties benefit from economies of scale.

Speaking yesterday during the Senate and County Assemblies summit in Kisumu, Mr Wamalwa was particularly impressed by the 14 counties that came together to form the Lake Region Economic bloc (LREB).

 "I want to emphasis that LREB has now fulfilled all the legal requirements, and we are in the process of gazetting it as a legal entity," Wamalwa  said.

The bloc is made of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia counties. LREB member counties can now partner and share resources .

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Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo jnr criticised the balkanisation of the blocs according to their geographical proximity.

He opined that the blocs should not be created based on how close the counties' boundaries are, but on what they produce.

"If Makueni produces fruits and Migori potatoes, they can partner despite their locations," said Mr Kilonzo

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Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene WamalwaLake Region Economic bloc