13 Lake region bosses in Washington to line up investments
Currently in Washington, DC, they are seeking firms to invest in infrastructure, farming and a regional bank to improve the economic growth of the 13 counties
Governors from the 13 counties forming the Lake Region Economic Bloc are confident of striking major partnership deals on their current investment trip in the US.
They want financing and partnership for infrastructure and economic programmes.
The bloc includes counties from Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley. They are Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia.
The investment trip is coordinated by Deloitte EA and is being attended by governors Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia). Bomet’s Isaac Rutto was to attend, but might be unable to do so following injuries suffered during a scuffle at a rally on Sunday.
EYE ON INVESTMENTS
Ranguma, the chairman of the economic bloc, said in a statement that the purpose of the visit is to sell the bloc’s economic blueprint and negotiate financing of major projects such as a regional bank, factories for local produce and the upgrade of roads.
“We are going to the US for a series of engagements. The broad mission and purpose of the trip is to attract US investment into the region,” he said.
On Tuesday last week, the delegation was hosted at the US Embassy by Ambassador Robert Godec.
Yesterday, the team was to visit the US Capitol and meet Congressmen, then meet investors at the US Chamber of Commerce offices.
The team will meet representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Agency today, then meet experts in tilapia and sorghum farming at Virginia State University.
The delegation will have a roundtable meeting tomorrow with experts at USAid, then meet the US Department of Commerce and Deloitte trade and investment experts on Thursday. On Friday they meet the World Bank.
“As a bloc our intention is to leverage on the shared resources so we can build a socio-economic system that gives best opportunities and reaps dividends for our people,” Ranguma said.
The bloc has set up a secretariat in Kisumu and negotiated setting up world-class regional referral hospitals in Kisii and Kisumu counties, Ranguma said. Diagnostic centres will be set up in all 13 counties, he said.
“We have begun the process of setting up a Regional Development Bank, which will be wholly owned by the residents of the lake region,” he said.
Governors Moses Akaranga (Vihiga), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Kisumu’s Jack Ranguma during the Lake Region Economic Bloc meeting ofGovernors on Infrastructure,Transport and Finance plenary at the Acacia Hotel, Kisumu, on November 7 last year