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Coast governors resolve to unite for economic development

Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro who is also the new chairman of the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) says he will champion unity and economic growth.

JKP is the regional economic bloc representing the six coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River.

Mung’aro who recently took over from immediate former Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja challenged his peers to confront political and economic issues that hamper sustained growth in the region.

He urged governors Abdulswamad Nassir (Mombasa) Fatuma Achani (Kwale), Issa Timamy (Lamu) Andrew Mwadime (Taita-Taveta) and Dhado Godhana (Tana River) to demonstrate unity and love towards one another in order to achieve a better society.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on his Kwale counterpart, Mung’aro said he will champion full economic cooperation and unity in the regional bloc to speed up social-economic growth.

“Under my watch the coastal regional bloc will champion economic and social interests of the region,” he said, adding that the economic bloc will seek to attract investments in agribusiness, tourism and the blue economy sectors.

He said JKP exists to catalyze economic growth for the coastal regional counties and reported that in the past political differences between governors proved to be an impediment to implementing the economic bloc’s development plans.

Mung’aro says the new governors want to work together to develop tourism and tap into the region’s marine, mineral, mangrove ecosystem and other natural resources to create opportunities for residents.

He said cooperation, synergy and economies of scale are important to move the region’s agenda forward.

“As county chiefs we need to put away our party affiliations and stand together to commonly pursue the development agenda of the region,” he said, adding that the bloc was firm and focused on uniting the people.

Mung’aro says the devolved units should partner with the private sector to boost the economy of the region and continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the regional bloc.

“We should further create policies that would enable the counties to attract local and foreign investments and allow businesses to grow,” he said.

On her part, Achani said they needed to put aside political and personal interests and unite to build the coastal region.

“The interests of the people should be the focus at all times and our politics must be that of development,” she said, adding that challenges threatening the unity of the region should be resolved through dialogue.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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