West Pokot County Government is committed to supporting regional integrations aimed at leveraging on economies of scale to spur manufacturing, enterprise development, access to markets and bring socio-economic prosperity to the people of the region.
Speaking today in Kapenguria when he opened a one day meeting held to review the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) Policy and Bill by member county attorneys, county directors of finance and those of trade, West Pokot County Secretary Dr. Mike Parklea said that regional integration is a strategic development idea which should be embraced and utilized to turn around the fortunes of the region. Dr. Parklea who was accompanied by CEC for Finance Luka Chepelion, said West Pokot County Government is a firm member of NOREB and therefore fully supports its activities. “Our county and the region are rich in diverse resources and we know that once it is fully operational, NOREB will help the member counties to speed up the development agenda and attain good progress much faster. NOREB will also present us the opportunity to brand ourselves individually as counties and collectively as a region, as an attractive investment and tourist destination in Kenya.” Dr. Parklea Said.
Speaking in the meeting, NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott said the bloc secretariat is fast tracking the finalization of the Regions policy and the NOREB Bill 2019 by engaging various stakeholders ahead of consultations with the member county assemblies. The county legislative arms are expected to adopt the bloc policy and bill in the coming months. Dr. Biwott added that the NOREB Policy and Bill is not only aimed at establishing and guiding North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) as a driver to foster common development opportunities and potentials, but also to provide guidelines in regional economic empowerment of various sectors while making appropriate regulations that govern the co-operation for economic prosperity.
“This forum is important because it will provide the technical and legal insights and inform on practical scenarios and experiences from all member counties to be considered in the policy and the bill. We continue engagements with our stakeholders so that we come up with comprehensive and all-inclusive legal documents that will be the foundation for efficient operations and effective service delivery by the bloc, within the member counties of the NOREB.” Dr. Biwott said.
The NOREB Policy presents a set of principles and guidelines, designed to facilitate a beneficial economic, social and cultural cooperation of member counties as an under arching platform for rapid and sustainable development within the region while preserving and promoting county specific cultures, ethos, aspirations and harmony. It does not however preclude the member county’s own development priorities as envisaged in their respective County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) and other development strategic documents of the member counties. It is also aligned to the country’s economic blue-print Kenya Vision 2030 and its Medium-Term Plans (MTPs) and the Big 4 Agenda.
It is envisaged that the implementation of the policy will address gaps associated with single-county-strategies by creating synergy and strengthening collective approach and eliminate challenges arising from limited economies of scale, reduced bargaining power, non-replication of best practices and non-harmonized business practices.
The Member Counties which were represented include West Pokot, Uasin Ngishu, Nandi, Turkana, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo Counties.