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

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - MAU­RICE ALAL @AlalMau­rice

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.

/ FILE

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

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