Governors expand NOREB Economic Council to include private sector

The Noreb Summit, the supreme NOREB decision making organ has recommended the inclusion of professionals and private sector players in the NOREB Economic Council, the second highest organ of the regional economic bloc

The six Governors from the North Rift who met on a two-day Summit meeting held late June in Mombasa to deliberated on various issues, among them the Bloc’s Policy and Legal frameworks, and NOREB programmes, both current and upcoming.

The Governors who were led by the interim NOREB Chairman Jackson Mandago also considered NOREB’s progress report and the proposed Bloc work plans and recommended a raft of changes including the streamlining of blocs priority areas so as to come up with program led organization structures that will inform the constitution of respective sector committees.

This came after the finalization of the legal instruments; the cooperation agreement, the NOREB Policy and the NOREB Bill which are now ready and the secretariat is sought the governors’ input and nod for next stage which is county assembly engagements and stakeholder involvement ahead of ratification.

The governors scheduled another meeting in August to finalize on the recommendations they made so as to pave way for the next stage of setting up NOREB formally.

The process of developing the constitutive documents is being done by NOREB through support from the UKAID’s Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) programme.

NOREB in talks with Canada’s Yukon Territory on Tourism development

The North Rift Tourism Circuit and it’s Geo-destinations is set to get a major boost following the recognition of its great Adventure and Sports Tourism potential by North America’s premier outdoor loving Communities.

Over the last few years the NOREB’s Tourism Development and Wildlife Coordinator Warden William Kimosop has worked very closely with Run for Life, a wide range of stakeholders and local Communities in building experiences, discovering unique sites in order to promote sustainable Geo-tourism.

To further enhance this collaboration and explore new frontiers Warden Kimosop late June went on a 2 weeks Training, Certification and exposure process at the invitation and support of Run for Life Board and the Northern Territories Council, Yukon Canada.

Kimosop’s training also included adventure logistics planning, trail designs, building and rescue operations management with the world’s leader in the outdoor travel profession.

The trip was an exploratory mission in sharing the North Rift and Kenya situation with the ultimate aim of interesting more visitors from the subcontinent to the North Rift Counties in particular.

This is part of a deliberate attempt by NOREB Counties to shift and diversify the Tourism products from the traditionally known arena. It is also part of the strategy in attaining the Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark Network status for the Great Rift Valley landscape.

Tourism Fund to partner with NOREB in profiling region tourist attractions

The North Rift region is rich in tourist attractions but its potential has not been fully exploited.

In seeking to draw a plan towards unpacking and showcasing what NOREB has to offer in cultural tourism, sports tourism, wildlife and nature tourism, medical, among other forms of tourism, Bloc CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott paid a courtesy visit to the Tourism Fund CEO Joseph Cherutoi.

The CEOs agreed to partner in profiling the North Rift tourism opportunities and in developing a tourism development and marketing strategy.

The partnership is expected to make significant progress in achieving its objectives within the first quarter of the current financial year.

Dr. Biwott was accompanied by NOREB County Assemblies Coordinator Joseph Makilap.

NOREB and RIVATEX East Africa Limited to work jointly on exploiting region’s cotton value chain potential

The recent relaunch of Eldoret based Rivatex East Africa presents an enormous opportunity to farmers from across the region in the area of cotton supply, the factory’s primary raw material.

Towards ensuring farmers in cotton growing counties of NOREB are well positioned to fully benefit from the manufacturing venture, bloc CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott paid a courtesy call to Rivatex Managing Director Thomas Kipkurgat.

In the discussions, Rivatex and NOREB agreed to enter into an understanding that will see the economic bloc coordinate cotton production in the six potential cotton producing counties of the region, while the textile manufacturer will guarantee market for the farmers’ produce.

The activities envisaged in the partnership include capacity building and sensitization of farmers, extension services, setting up of cotton farming demonstration sites, facilitating of access to certified seeds and pesticides.

The bloc will also work with Rivatex and member counties in the revival of cotton ginneries and in exploring ways of setting up of new ones.

The counties with cotton production potential in the North Rift Economic Bloc include Samburu, Nandi, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot.

NOREB region gears to produce cotton for the ultra modern Rivatex

The recent relaunch of Shs 5 billion ultra-modern textile plant in Eldoret opens doors for farmers in the region to invest in cotton farming and take advantage of the huge market that Rivatex presents.

In the NOREB Governors’ Summit held late June, the NOREB secretariat was tasked with implementing a road map towards a working partnership between the regional economic bloc and Rivatex East Africa Limited.

In this regard, the County Executive Members for Trade and their Agriculture counterparts drawn from the eight NOREB member counties met with the management of the ultra-modern giant textile industry in Eldoret.

In the meeting which was also attended by representatives of the University of Eldoret, Agriculture and Food Authority and Export Promotion Council, it was unanimously agreed that the region holds great potential for the production of cotton, while Rivatex has immense demand therefore guarantees market for the commodity.

According to Rivatex Managing Director Prof. Thomas Kipkurgat, at full capacity, the textile plant will need an upwards of 100 bales daily, requiring an approximate 500,000 acres of land to be placed under cotton cultivation if the factory is to be sustained by locally sourced raw material.

In the envisaged MOU whose drafting has been given the nod by the county executive members, NOREB will be coordinating cotton-producing counties in the development of a cotton farmers database, capacity building and sensitization of farmers, extension services, setting up of cotton farming demonstration sites and the facilitation of access to certified seeds and pesticides.

Additionally, Rivatex will work with NOREB in the development of a tailoring curriculum with a view to training youth on tailoring and apparel production. This will be accompanied by the setting up county-based clothes production units that will supply quality apparel to institutions and individual clientele.

In order to enhance the capacity of cotton lint processing in the region, Rivatex and member counties will also chart the way forward on the revival of cotton ginneries and in exploring ways of setting up of new ones as may be necessary.

Today’s meeting came after consultations between NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott and Rivatex MD. Prof. Thomas Kipkurgat and agreed that a strategic understanding would be mutually beneficial to the region and the textile manufacturer.