By Hon Wycliffe Oparanya, Governor of Kakamega County
The transfer of power and resources to counties remains one of the notable strengths and successes of Kenya’s Constitution 2010. The country continues to witness encouraging development across all sectors, as the nine-year wind of devolution blows swiftly across the nation.
Each of the 47 counties have witnessed unique transformative achievements that Kenyans can celebrate.
As the tenure of the pioneer governors’ comes to an end slightly over a year from now, the devolved units have re-engineered a rebirth of Kenya’s independence dream through devolution as envisioned by the proponents of the Constitution, mirroring the erstwhile objective of ‘Nation building’ by our forefathers.
Kakamega County, a member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), is endowed with huge potential for investment and growth due to her favourable climatic conditions, diverse agro-ecological zones with volcanic soil in the north, and predominantly sandy loam in central and southern regions. Kakamega has a rich traditional and cultural history.
Just like the rest of the counties, Kakamega is a leading example of the now working governance structures of the devolved units, thanks to progressive governance that has opened up the county for growth and investment.
Kakamega is endowed with numerous tourism attractions and activities. They include the Crying Stone, Mawe Tatu, Khuvasali Waterfalls, and Misango Hills; Bull-fighting and other entertaining sports like football and rugby; Kenya’s only Royal family and traditional administration – the Wanga Kingdom; and the Luhya Isukuti dance, which is inscribed by Unesco as a world intangible cultural heritage. All these form important aspects for human social and physical wellbeing.
Kakamega has the necessary incentives for investment. They include land, water and electricity. It has a good road infrastructure. Air transport is supported by the nearby Kisumu and Eldoret international airports, and the Kakamega Airstrip. Marine transport is accessible through Lake Victoria.
Kakamega is further endowed with vast human resources, learning institutions, very peaceful and welcoming people, diverse hospitality facilities, financial services, friendly policies, and a conducive administrative and political environment – all the features that potential investors treasure.
Through a mutual constitutional relationship with the County Assembly of Kakamega that plays its representation and legislative roles effectively, the County Government continues to advocate for socio-economic and digital transformation of the almost two million residents, renewing their hope for a better, brighter and prosperous future.
Further, the county government continues to seal corruption loopholes by developing and implementing tough policies as well as embracing technology. For example, in 2017, we successfully advanced Kakamega into a cashless county for all services that required financial transactions.
Having spearheaded the formation of Kenya’s long term development blueprint (Kenya’s Vision 2030), and being strategically placed in implementing the document’s ambitious goals enumerated under the economic, social and political pillars at the devolved level, backed by my deputy, Professor Philip Kutima, we shall always be grateful to the people of Kakamega County for entrusting us with the leadership of this great county as their first chief executives for two consecutive terms.