Two Rift counties dump Noreb trade alliance
SEE ALSO :Kenya, Israel sign trade deal"We lack laws to anchor Noreb, which has slowed our progress. This has led to frustration that has forced some counties to abandon the dream," said an official who sought anonymity. "Each county assembly was supposed to come up with an Act that would, among other things, define management of the economic bloc. This would ensure residents enjoy opportunities in the region. However, for three years, this has not happened," the official said. Common resources The Rift economic bloc was formed to allow exploitation of common resources and investment opportunities in member counties. Although there has been some investment, mainly in agriculture, the county assemblies are yet to conclude discussions on a legal framework to guide management and sharing of resources.
SEE ALSO :Ruto returns to woo Western, again“The objective was to spur inter-county trade and resource mobilisation. The legislation to anchor Noreb's plans is supposed to be passed by county assemblies. This has not happened," said Philip Melly, former Uasin Gishu Trade executive. The LREB was formed on Monday, with one objectives being the setting up of a financial institution to support economic activities in the region. Jonathan Ng’etich, chairman of the Uasin Gishu County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee, said they had not enacted laws Noreb needed to function due to time constraints. "We should have worked on the framework last year but time did not allow us. We look forward to engaging the new MCAs on how we can drive the Noreb agenda,” he said. Masibo Lumala, a lecturer at Moi University, said the decision by the two counties to join the lake region bloc may have been informed by geographical dynamics and historical ties.
SEE ALSO :Winners of tech challenge named"Trans Nzoia would feel more comfortable being in the same economic bloc as Bungoma and Kakamega. Nandi is more likely to benefit from the Western bloc because of its products. It make no sense for Nandi to remain in Noreb where it will compete with Uasin Gishu, which produces similar goods,” he said. A Nandi county official said they joined the new alliance to "widen our economic net". “We are not pulling out of Noreb because we can belong to more economic blocs. We want to position ourselves strategically and expand our trade,” said County Secretary Francis Sang.