Governors under the Central Region Economic Bloc(CEREB) have met with development partners in a move aimed at leveraging on opportunities availed through the British-Kenya free trade.
The ten governors met with British High Commissioner Janet Marriot in Nyeri county with their chairman Francis Kimemia saying that they had come up with a series of policy initiatives that will allow county governments through partners and the national government to help mitigate economic difficulties facing the residents, small businesses and societies.
“As a forum, we are meeting partners to ensure our people benefit through free trade treaties in coffee, tea, milk and other cash crops following creation of enabling atmosphere by national governments,” said Kimemia.
Kimemia cited low productivity, value addition, low industrialisation, adverse climate change and locust infestation and high unemployment levels as the challenges facing the region.
They intend to improve the economic status through enhancing production and productivity in the agricultural sector, promoting regional industrial and manufacturing investments as well as developing infrastructure network to facilitate socio-economic development of the region that contributes Sh 2.12 trillion annually.
“Our objective is to leverage on economies of scale through the implementation of joint projects and activities to supplement what individual counties will do towards improving the livelihoods of the people of these respective counties,” he noted.
Other governors present were Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), James Nyoro (Kiambu), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi) and Anne Kananu (Nairobi Deputy governor).
The Kenya-British trade deal is worth Sh200 billion annually with Kenya exporting 35,000 tons of vegetables, 21,000 tons of flowers and 8,000 tons of fruits each year.
“The bilateral agreement between the two countries and the finalizing of the Brexit process will ensure that the country increases exports to the country as well as help us in bolstering value-addition that will promote agribusiness,” said Governor Nyoro.
Tharaka-Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki said that the people in the region needs to quell political temperatures to attain economic stability.
“Interference every time we have an election challenges economic growth and that is why this time we are keen to secure the fortunes of our people and that is why we are advocating for peace through the BBI,” he said
by Beth Ndirangu