As nations strategize and start implementing new economic models to survive and thrive in the post Covid-19 era, the County Governments of the former Western Province of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and the neighbouring Trans Nzoia County must equally come up with their own bold, pragmatic economic realignments that will solve the economic problems ravaging their residents and wrought by the Covid-19 on top of those that existed before including poverty, challenges posed by diseases, ignorance, unemployment.
West Media states that one of those bold programmes must be and include-in expending County Government, County Assemblies budgetary resources and the national government budgetary resources that are in the region-a ‘Buy Western Kenya, Build Western Kenya’ clarion call of action. This way resources devolved will percolate and circulate in the region and reach as many residents as possible and thereby put money in their pockets.
Hitherto we have as a region been quick to expend our money by making procurements from entities based outside the Counties in far flung places like Nairobi and Mombasa. The money therefore simply reaches the Counties from the Treasury, Central Bank of Kenya and flies back to the distant Counties. The locals are not empowered. They see projects but the money does not reach them.
It will absurd, failure of our leadership for example not to lobby with the Ministry of Education that all masks to be used by the Primary, Secondary School students and tertiary learners in the region as they reopen, should be made in the region. Those masks and all other key accessories to assist the region navigate the Covid-19 challenges ought to be as far as is practical be made in the region using local labour.
We will not experience economic renewal, economic growth in real terms if we continue to be importers of all goods consumed in the region. We must make goods and export beyond our Counties. The same with services. It is in how we think, look at the world creatively, bravely with confidence that we can do anything other human being can do that we will free ourselves from the slavery of only being consumers, buyers of other Counties, nations goods, services and zero exporters of anything with value addition.
County governments stop the obsession with buying things from outside your Counties and embark on implanting aggressive programmes of ‘Buy Western Kenya, Build Western Kenya’ and value addition for all agricultural crops produced in your regions for export. That is where wealth creation is hidden.