• JKP was launched in 2014 but failed to take off after the regional governors started pulling in different directions
• The bloc will be key in revamping the region's economy and creating jobs for hundreds of unemployed people.
Governors from the Coast will revive Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani economic bloc to spearhead development in the region, Kilifi's Gideon Mung’aro has said.
The governor said the bloc will be key to revamping the region's economy and creating jobs for hundreds of unemployed people.
JKP was launched in December 2014, but failed to take off after regional governors started pulling in different directions.
Speaking on Sunday during a fundraiser for the construction of the church vicarage at ACK St Peter's Cathedral in Voi, Taita Taveta, Mung’aro said the bloc is key to addressing the challenges facing the coastal people.
“I'm willing to reach out to all my counterparts from Mombasa, Kwale, Tana River and Lamu counties so that together with Taita Taveta and Kilifi we can join forces to transform the region,” the former Kilifi North MP said.
Through the bloc, he said county bosses will partner with investors and development partners to tap economic potential in mining, agriculture and the blue economy.
“The Coast region is rich in resources that should be utilised through partnerships to set up industries. This will create more jobs for our people,” Mung’aro said.
He said the bloc will also serve to unite the six devolved units and safeguard their interests.
Some of the flagship projects under the JKP include the Go Blue Economy programme, which is set to revive the fishing industry in the region.
The coastal economic bloc had identified the ocean and blue economy as one of three value chains to prioritise in their county development plans.
The bloc is further tapping into the blue economy to create jobs in fisheries, tourism, maritime and shipping, among others.
The Sh3.2 billion Go Blue Economy programme is being funded by the European Union and is being implemented in all six coastal counties.
The programme shall be implemented over a four-year period between 2021 and 2024. It targets to benefit more than 3,500 youth and women in the region.
Further, the programme is meant to advance the development of Jumuiya 2030 regional economic blueprint and support implementation of Kenya’s blue economy agenda.
Mung'aro was accompanied by Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime and Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo.
Others included legislators Paul Katana (Kaloleni), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), former Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire and a section of MCAs.
Governor Mwadime urged his counterparts to join forces in strengthening JKP economic bloc to reap the immense economic benefits presented by the resources in the region.
The region, Mwadime said, has an abundance of untapped mining, tourism and maritime resources across the coastal region.
He said the bloc will bring inclusive, integrated and sustainable approaches to economic growth, while creating new jobs.
According to the 2019 Gross County Product Report (GCP 2019), the coastal counties contributed to Kenya’s GDP (County GDP) for the year 2017 an estimated Sh0.7 trillion, equivalent to nine per cent of the national GDP.
Out of this, Mombasa contributed four per cent, Kwale one per cent, Kilifi two per cent, Taita Taveta one per cent with Tana River and Lamu contributing 0.4 per cent each.
Edited by A.N