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LREB counties’ path to true prosperity remains unclear

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LREB counties’ path to true prosperity remains unclear

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LREB counties’ path to true prosperity remains unclear


The Governor of Kisumu, Professor Anyang ‘Nyong’o. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Resume

  • LREB’s own initial goals were to have a commercial development bank capitalized to the tune of 50 million shillings from each county.
  • The main mandate is to achieve sustainable development through resource mobilization and equitable economic integration in the Lake District.

A few days ago, at a meeting called by the National Government Implementation Committee and attended by the Council of Governors, a historic resolution emerged.

That the multiple fees and levies charged to carriers coming from a specific county of origin will be charged in that specific county and not in the many counties the carrier was passing through.

This will reduce the cost of doing business. However, it is concerning why specific counties in various regional blocks had never figured that out eons ago. It reminded me of the focus on regional blocs and specifically the Lake Region Economic Bloc that I am a part of in Kisumu.

The year 2021/2022 marks the beginning of the end of the second repayment period. Hopefully, after the review of the County’s Integrated Development Plan, the Lake District counties are expected to improve economically.

The benchmarks and signs of success and growth are the huge new capital investments that have been established, the upgraded and improved infrastructure projects, the prosperous environment for SMEs, the increase in home-sourced income and a reduction overall poverty across the region.

To take advantage of catalyzed growth for the Lake District, LREB was formed. In reality, the core mandate is “Achieve sustainable development by coordinating, promoting, mobilizing resources, innovation, and enhancing equitable economic integration in the Lake District.”

LREB’s own initial goals were centered on having an enabling financial institution in the form of a commercial and development bank capitalized to the tune of 50 million shillings from each county.

As we approached the end of the period, less than half of the counties had remitted the amount to the kitten. This makes the regional block unable to activate it. The bloc went, in an effort to improve trade, leverage the huge market and focus on economies of scale and also the specialization of individual counties.

Apart from the development bank that needed legal frameworks at the national level, the bankrupt sugar sector and the necessary reforms should have been completed urgently.

Discussions in this sector have seen many more hotel discussions than any other sector, more so than coffee and tea, but while the latter two are on the road to recovery, we are stuck with many more expected sugar meetings in Hotels.

Although the national government has tried to carry out some infrastructure projects in the region and, in particular, in Kisumu, the lack of coordination of all of them, in which the bloc should have a great focus, can be an obstacle.

An effective block with a plan must work with policies that inform the National Government Investments in the region and also their individual earned budgets.

This ensures that if Kakamega County Referral Hospital were building a specialized regional Heart Center, the next county can focus on something else.

A much deeper focus on markets, equal or standardized fees and charges, coordinated regional infrastructure growth, investments, and labor.

It is necessary to rethink and revitalize LREB.

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