Makueni County Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to operationalize a US-Kenya trade agreement under the Prosper Counties Initiative.
In the initiative unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year in October under the US Prosper Africa Presidential programme, the US government aims to leverage its expertise and relationships to support county level private sector solutions by investing in business-to-business relationships.
Makueni is the first among eight prosper counties selected to sign the MOU to participate in a U.S- Kenya trade agreement to partner with counties and the private sector to advance Kenya’s journey to self-reliance by contributing to job creation, improving economic growth, and expanding tax revenues in Kenya’s secondary cities and rural areas.
Others are Kakamega, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kisumu, Isiolo, Kisii and Kiambu. The counties were selected based on high economic potential, effective governance practices and commitment to create an enabling business environment.
Makueni was identified as a prosper county due to its robust governance practices that involves public participation in the implementation of projects.
Speaking on Thursday at Wote during the signing of the MOU, USAID Mission Director in Kenya Mark Meassick said USAID will utilize its networks to support workforce development, policy formulation and select public investments in key sectors including agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing, technology, finance and health in the county.
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana reiterated his government’s commitment towards implementation of this partnership. Kivutha said the county government will move with speed to ensure a legal framework is established by the County Assembly for sustainability of the partnership.
“As a government we are excited, this is a very huge responsibility and we shall do our very best and ensure accountability,” said governor Kibwana.
By Roselyne Kavoo