Wamatangi roots for Mt Kenya economic bloc

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.

Governors in 10 counties from Mt Kenya region were yesterday asked   to  form an economic bloc.

 Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi said the initiative would help the the region pull resources together to accelerate economic growth.

He noted that governors from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Laikipia counties should come up with a formula that will facilitate joint cooperation and all elected leaders, including Members of Parliament to work together in pushing for the region’s progressive interests.

Speaking to People Daily yesterday, the lawmaker said the initiative could help member counties  jointly lobby for partnerships with foreign countries and donors, who could pump billions of shillings to finance mega projects in the region.  

The senator said since the advent of devolution in 2013, Mt Kenya counties have been receiving huge allocations of up to Sh100 billion annually, but there is little to show for it, however,  if the governors were cooperative, much could be achieved.

But with co-operation that should be guided by a long-term plan and a legal framework and the proposals to have the county allocation in the region raised by over Sh50 billion though the Building Bridges Innovative, Wamatangi, the Senate Transport and Infrastructure Committee chair, said the counties would be in a better position to harness their potential unlike when operating independently.

Huge potential

The Mt Kenya region, the senator observed, has a huge potential on agribusiness, energy, tourism, industries, minerals among other investment opportunities, which could turn around its economy if fully exploited.

The counties, he said, share common investments and economic interests such as tea, coffee, dairy, horticulture, fruits farming that could open up opportunities for manufacturing.

He noted that a focused economic bloc would improve their growth through improvement of infrastructure, revival of industries and creating new ones as well as boosting agribusiness.

“Counties in the Mount Kenya region have been getting close to Sh100 billion per year from the National Government and grants but there is little to show for it.

If the governors were to form a regional bloc, they could work on major joint investments that can serve the counties and create positive impacts,” Wamatangi said.

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