14 Governors who are signatories to an MOU creating the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) are today appending their signatures to a legal instrument that paves way to a formal establishment of the bloc. The counties on board are Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nandi, Nyamira, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Vihiga.
H.E. Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya has been unanimously elected the First Chairperson of the Summit with H.E. Joyce Laboso being elected the Deputy Chairperson. Governor Oparanya expressed gratitude to his colleagues for the honour. The Summit also unanimously endorsed Kisumu City as the seat of the bloc’s secretariat.
The objective of this group is to leverage on economies of scale and utilize shared resources such as Lake Victoria and other natural resources as well as economic opportunities, in order to catalyse economic development and improve livelihoods of the people- estimated to be 14 million and more.
Targeted sectors among others include Tourism, Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure, ICT, Financial Services, Health, Water and Environment. Top on the bloc’s priorities are ratification of various bills developed by the bloc’s Council by County Assemblies, establishment of a fully fledged Secretariat and Investment Bank to fast track implemention of projects. Last week Kakamega County’s Treasury CEC member Mr. Geoffrey Omulayi was elected the Council Chair. Kakamega County Secretary, Mrs. Jacinta Odhiambo is also a member.
On arrival, the Governors are treated to a guard of honour mounted by County Enforcement officers before proceeding to the meeting.