Counties in the North Rift Economic Bloc (Noreb) are in the process of ratifying a Bill to operationalise a working formula for the unit.
Last weekend the Economic Council of the bloc was formed following a lengthy meeting of County Executive Committee (CEC) members from eight counties. The meeting was held in Eldoret town.
The council is the second largest organ in the bloc’s organisational structure after the Summit, which is charged with supreme decision making and composed of eight Noreb governors, led by Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, who is its interim chairman.
The council is expected to give Noreb strategic directions by setting economic agenda, which will then be forwarded to the Summit for consideration.
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The latest development comes as the regional economic bloc finalises its process of engaging member county assemblies to endorse the Noreb Ratification Bill, 2019, to give it legal status and also anchor it as a budget item in the counties.
After several years of inactivity following its formation in 2015, Noreb governors appointed a secretariat and Dominic Biwott as CEO in December last year.
It seeks to strengthen enforcement of policies that will assist member counties to enjoy economies of scale through the exploitation of common opportunities in the region.
The North Rift is endowed with agricultural advantages, tourism, sports, rich culture, natural resources, including the recent oil discovery.
Luka Chepelion, the CEC for Finance and Economic Planning, West Pokot County was elected Chairman of the Council and his Turkana County counterpart Jennifer Nawoi his deputy through consensus.
Noreb counties include Uasin Gisu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Baringo and Samburu. (Nandi and Trans Nzoia are also in the lake region economic bloc)
Dr Biwott, who oversaw the election of council officials, urged them to ensure stronger teamwork between the bloc and counties so that economic objectives are achieved with ease.
"Noreb will help this region develop its economy faster by harnessing strengths and advantages presented by the economies of scale. We are a powerhouse and a premier investment destination," said Biwott.
He said the bloc would be instrumental in attracting flagship investments targeting to add value to the region's produce.