Governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Prof. Kibwana (Makueni) and Dr. Alfred Mutua (Machakos) today signed an agreement formally establishing the South Eastern Economic Bloc (SEKEB).
The bloc will act as a regional organization and shall have a legal personality with the capacity to enter into contracts, procure goods and services, own or dispose property and sue or be sued.
In her remarks at the meeting, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu praised SEKEB as a tool towards protecting the region’s economic bloc, initiating programs for expansion and promoting sustainable and inclusive social-economic development with an aim to exploit synergies, resources and comparative advantages.
“Our people must be set free from poverty through responsive leadership that offers solutions to the needs – today is the turning point from bad practices,” Ngilu said.
The Governor said the bloc was people-centered and warned political fault finders against struggling the economic formation.
“We’ve agreed to meet quarterly to evaluate progress with the next meeting set to be held in Kitui on September 17th this year’’. She said.
Noting the need to pursue economic growth in the counties, Ngilu said the bloc will engage private partnerships in the financing, construction, development, infrastructure in the member counties through concessions or contractual agreements.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said the bloc seeks to exploit the potential of the counties to attain development through lobbying, common bargaining, sourcing grants and external funding to benefit the people.
This, he says, will help promote networking and collaboration with other economic blocs, coordinate and harmonize policies, legislation, and programs aimed at widening cooperation amongst member counties.
“We want to foster good working relations with the national government and other county governments, development partners and the international community,” he said.
On his part, Makueni Governor Prof. Kibwana expressed gladness in the agreement saying it originated from the county assemblies in the region.
Noting the need to have broad acceptance and support for the bloc, Kibwana urged Members of the County Assemblies to embrace the formation saying it was not a political but an economic establishment.
“The bloc we established here has no political interests, our focus remains a far-reaching development cause,” he said.
The agreement will now be submitted to the respective assemblies for ratification.