14 Governors in the Lake Region Economic Bloc today ratified the formation of a joint economic growth and development strategy.
The Governors of members counties for the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) launched in 2015 today met in Kakamega for a summit meeting and signed legal instruments formally establishing the bloc.
Governors James Ongwae (Kisii), Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Dr Wilbur Otichilo (Vihiga), John Nyagarama (Nyamira), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) attended the summit meeting. Governors for Migori, Homabay and Kericho Counties sent apologies.
The Governors signed the LREB partnership agreement and elected Hon. Oparanya and Hon. Laboso as the first Chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively.
“With a population of over 14 million people in the Lake region, we must come together as Counties to address the unique challenges that exist. We must leverage on the competitive and comparative advantages of individual counties through economies of scale and specialization,” said Governor Ongwae.
During the meeting, the Governors agreed that the Secretariat shall be based in Kisumu City and resolved to hold a regional devolution conference in Bomet County in October this year where they plan to unveil a regional bank.
“When planning a long journey, you must travel with many people unlike a short journey where you can go alone. We must remove the boundaries between our counties for us to develop,” said Governor Rasanga.
The Governors have identified seven pillars to drive our development agenda, which are; agriculture, tourism, education, health, financial services, ICT and Infrastructure to be implemented by respective member counties.
“I have seen a better commitment from member counties this time compared to when we started. In Kisii, we are committed to actualizing this dream and indeed, we are the first to move this agenda forward by holding the first Health Investment Conference – as chair of the health pillar,” added Governor Ongwae.