Noreb counties to ratify a bill to operationalise bloc

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos. [Standard]

Eight counties are set to ratify bills to kick-start the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) that has faced several false starts since its formation in 2015.

After a two-day summit in Mombasa, the eight governors resolved to ensure their respective county assemblies ratify the NOREB Cooperation Bill as soon the secretariat concludes drafting it.

The NOREB counties include Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Turkana, Baringo and Samburu.

The county chiefs under the chairmanship of Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago gave the secretariat until end of July to complete the draft.

Governor Mandago said the bill would give the integration a legal backing and a structured operational framework.

Other governors who attended the Mombasa meeting that ended on Friday were Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Stanley Kiptis, (Baringo), Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia), Josphat Nanok (Turkana) and Stephen Sang (Nandi).

Mandago said the NOREB cooperation document was drawn in partnership with a UK organisation.

“Governors and representatives from the eight-member counties were efficiently briefed by the technical team working on the document sponsored by UKaid's Agile Harmonised Assistance for Devolved Institutions,” said Mr Mandago.

According to Mandago, the bill, if approved by the eight county assemblies, will guide the bloc's activities and programmes implementation.

His Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos said ways of streamlining NOREB’s economic council, which will be charged with administrative functions of the economic bloc were discussed.

The blocs CEO, Dominic Biwott said it will seek to boost investment in tourism, improve security and cohesion as well as mobilise resources boost food security.