- Owalo said the professional woman’s voice is crucial but is missing in the region's social and economic dialogues.
He has courted Luo political class, both in the opposition and those who lost in previous elections, to rally behind the Kenya Kwanza government.
Preoccupation with unproductive civic activities such as protests and the absence of professional feminine input is to blame for underdevelopment in Nyanza.
That's what ICT and Blue Economy CS Eliud Owalo told more than 200 Luo women professionals at a Nairobi hotel on Friday.
Owalo said the professional woman’s voice is crucial but remains a missing from the social and economic dialogues in the region.
The CS urged the women to find unity of purpose and take up their role in a paradigm shift to lift the community from decades of focus on politics.
“We have had political conversations and controversies in the region for too long. Now the only conversation we want to hear is about economic development and lifting our people from debilitating poverty,” he said.
Owalo encouraged the gathering of women doctors, engineers, lawyers and business people to work with President William Ruto’s government for the overall good of the region.
“There is no other government in Kenya. If you are waiting to support and work with a different government, you will have to wait until 2032, and even beyond. And there is no guarantee that things will go in a different direction, even in 2032," he said.
Owalo has actively wooed the Luo political class, both in the opposition and those who lost in previous elections, to rally behind the Kenya Kwanza government.
Some of those closely associated with the CS have landed state appointments.
They include former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa who have been nominated as CASs.
There have also been significant appointments to various boards in what is seen as Owalo’s behind-the-scenes influence.
“We are working with anyone who is willing to work with us, regardless of the voting patterns,” the CS said.
“We are working with elected leaders and with non-elected leaders alike. Where elected leaders prefer demonstrations to work with the government, we will find someone else to work with. We will even work with you,” the CS told the women.
The meeting foreshadowed some of the challenges and development priorities in the Nyanza region. They include the need to create employment for the youth; to rehabilitate Lake Victoria, whose waters are succumbing to pollution; to construction a ring road around the lake; and adversities caused by unplanned mining in the region.
Others were the dying fishing industry and failing agricultural productivity.
Among those present were, Betty Adera the founder of Lead of the Professional Women’s Network and Karen Okech Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Kisumu chairwoman
Also present were Reacheal Reacheal Omollo, a policy and governance professional, bankers Dr Zilpah Owich and Berlin Okeyo, Mercy Nyabwala, an economist.
Other were lawyers Atieno Otieno and Joan Obunga among dozens of other professionals.
The gathering pledged to keep their caucus alive for the development of their region.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)