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250 MCAs in North Rift plan to ratify regional bloc

By Fred Kibor | November 24th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Over 250 MCAs from eight counties under the North Rift Economic Bloc (NoREB) are expected to meet in a fortnight to deliberate and ratify the regional bloc.

This is the latest boost for the trading bloc that investors want to commit over Sh100 billion in what is likely to be a major economic take-off for the region.

Deputy Governors Daniel Chemno (Uasin Gishu, Centre) and Dominic Biwott (Nandi, Left) join a performer in a dance during the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) dinner held at Boma Inn, Eldoret. NOREB is holding an investment conference that will show case investment opportunities in the counties within the North Rift region on November 19, 2015. (PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/ STANDARD)

MCAs from the region are set to meet in Eldoret as a follow-up to the first international conference held in the town.

The county lawmakers are expected to put in place legislation to govern and operationalise the bloc which has been billed as the gateway to unlock the region's economic potential.

According to Elgeyo Marakwet Speaker Albert Kochei, who is also the secretary general of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF), MCAs from the member counties are expected to agree on the laws governing the bloc.

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 Timely idea

"This is an idea whose time has come and we want to actualise the regional bloc for the residents to enjoy better service delivery and also spur development within and beyond," he said.

Mr Kochei said the success of the regional bloc would largely depend on the set laws.

"We want laws that will act as incentive for investors and assure them that by investing in this region, their businesses are safe with ample atmosphere to operate," he said.

He said they want favourable laws that cut across the counties targeting investors and their enterprises besides promoting development in the region.

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro, while opening the Noreb conference in Eldoret, said it was only through legislating laws that would promote development, transparency and integrity, besides championing for the prudent spending of allocated public funds, that development would be accelerated.

"It is prudent for the county assemblies to look at what is needed in their regions and make necessary laws that will support them," he said.

He said the county assemblies should enhance synergies, which would help plan for the future, make important coherent decisions and promote best practices in their regions.

"The assemblies should be at the forefront in boosting investor confidence by crafting laws that would attract setting up of businesses in their regions. This will better the locals' socio-economic development for posterity," said Mr Ethuro.

Noreb Chairman Jackson Mandago exuded confidence that the conference had a positive impact based on commitments by investors.

"Following discussions we have had, we are pleased to inform the public that we are currently making the commitments a reality that will stretch to Sh100 billion meant for investment," said Mr Mandago, also the Uasin Gishu governor.

Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, who was the chief guest, lauded county chiefs behind Noreb, and assured them of the Government's commitment to back their plans.

devolution North Rift Economic Bloc (NoREB) Jackson Mandago
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