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November 18, 2018

North Rift bosses create secretariat to revive bloc

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago /MATHEWS NDANYI
Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago /MATHEWS NDANYI

Eight governors have signed a fresh deal to save the North Rift Economic Bloc from collapse.

The county bosses held a meeting in Eldoret on Monday and agreed on a six-point strategy to revive the bloc. The meeting was presided over by bloc chairman Jackson Mandago.

The governors said the bloc’s secretariat should begin operations. It will be based at KVDA Plaza in Eldoret town.

 Dominic Biwott was appointed the secretariat’s acting CEO. He will be supported by staff seconded from the counties.

Mandago denied the bloc was nearing collapse, saying its operations had been interfered with by issues including the last year’s general election.

The Uasin Gishu governor said they will soon roll out programmes to strengthen the bloc. The governors have planned projects estimated to cost Sh200 billion.

"It was agreed every county establishes a Noreb office and appoints a liason officer to coordinate activities," Mandago said. 

The Noreb summit also agreed that county speakers coordinate establishment of a forum for the assemblies to ensure representation and oversight of the bloc’s activities.

The governors said they will develop a Development Blueprint and align it with the National Government’s Big Four agenda.

The summit agreed to establish an Investment and Commercial Development Authority. It will act as a legal entity to enter into agreements and partnerships with other agencies such as regional development authorities. 

"We recognise that our counties are agriculture-based and we will develop measures to support our farmers for maximum production,” Mandago said. 

The meeting was attended by Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and Stanley Kiptis (Baringo). Governors from Nandi and Turkana were represented by their deputies while the others sent executives.

Some counties in the bloc have joined other groups. "Counties can operate through several regional blocs just as Kenya is a member of several groupings within and outside Africa," Khaemba said.

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