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.

NOREB Governors sign a tri-county climate action agreement

The Governors of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties have signed a pact for the conservation of the Kerio River Ecosystem.

The signing ceremony held yesterday at Lake Baringo is a culmination of months long engagements with communities, County governments, and other stakeholders and was inked by Governors Stanley Kiptis, Alex Tolgos and witnessed by NOREB chairman Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago and NCCK General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja.

West Pokot County Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo who could not make it because of official engagements sent a representative and will pen the agreement at a later date.

Under the cooperation agreement, the three NOREB counties agree to work together in jointly conserving the Kerio River Ecosystem under a project called the Community Resilience in Kerio River Ecosystem (CORKE) which is spearheaded by the National Council of Churches of Kenya in partnership with the North Rift Economic Bloc and funded by UKAID through its Deepening Democracy Programme.

CORKE project is aimed at enhancing the adaptive capacities of community members in the target areas while driving climate change mainstreaming processes in county planning for the three county governments, with a view of creating sustainable linkages and interventions.

Need for strong export markets for NOREB products highlighted in agro-expo

The Gotab Gaa agribusiness expo which has been taking place in Kabarnet, Baringo county is coming to a close today, after three days of exhibitions and conversations on value addition and marketing of agricultural produce as market ready goods.

The three day event brought together all the stakeholders in agricultural sector for networking and to create platforms for marketing. It attracted participants ranging from famers, financiers, agricultural input and produce marketers and was graced by Baringo County Governor H.E Stanley Kiptis and NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott.

Addressing the congregation, the leaders and lawmakers highlighted the need for the export of agricultural goods, innovation and improvement in input, adoption of new technologies and mechanization.

NOREB is working with the eight member counties to create a better environment for collaboration to improve the agricultural production and in leveraging economies of scale to develop the value chain.

The need of the identification of an appropriate financing model to support all activities in the agriculture and livestock value chains was also highlighted.

The function was organised through a partnership of the Gotabgaa Kenya, Kass Media Group and Baringo County Government.

Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo signs NOREB-NCCK tri-county climate action pact

West Pokot County Governor John Krop Lonyangapuo has today appended his signature to the climate change governance agreement that had been signed by his two counterpart governors from Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties late last month.

During the signing, Prof Lonyangapuo said climate action is no longer an issue that can be ignored as its consequences are dire. He welcomed the cooperation saying that joint mitigation and joint efforts to reverse the effects of climate change is the way to go if tangible results are to be achieved.

Under the cooperation, the three NOREB counties agree to work together in jointly conserving the Kerio River Ecosystem under a project called the Community Resilience in Kerio River Ecosystem (CORKE) which is spearheaded by the National Council of Churches of Kenya in partnership with the North Rift Economic Bloc and funded by UKAID through its Deepening Democracy Programme.

The signing ceremony was held at the official residnce of the governor in Kapenguria and was attended by the NOREB CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott, NCCK Senior Programmes officer Mrs Phyllis Kamau and countty officials from different departments.

County Assemblies to be engaged on NOREB constitutive documents

The North Rift Economic Bloc CEO Dr. Dominic Biwott met with Uasin Gishu County Assembly speaker Hon David Kiplagat on 10th June as NOREB readys to engage the legislative arm of the member counties and other important actors in the region on its constitutive documents.

The CEO introduced the UKAID – AHADI consultant who will provide technical support in finalizing the legal documents and lead the team of resource persons in spearheading the sensitization programme that is set to be rolled out with various stakeholders for the next two months.

Hon Kiplagat who is the Chairman of the region’s county assembly speakers’ forum pledged support for the legislative phase of anchoring NOREB in law. He urged the secretariat and the consultant to fast track activities that will see the documents get to the floor of member county assemblies for debate.

“The NOREB idea has been with us for a long time. The Bloc needs to be entrenched in law as soon as possible so that it can roll out programmes and attract funding and partnerships for the benefit of the residents of the North Rift. As speakers, we shall play our part to make sure the NOREB dream is realized.” Said Kiplagat

Dr. Biwott recognized UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for undertaking to support NOREB in the development of region’s economic blue print, legal documents and for agreeing to fund the various stakeholder engagement activities under their Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) programme.

“With support from DFID, we shall move fast in delivering a regional economic cooperation that is properly anchored in law.” Dr. Biwott said.

Together with the Secretariat, the consultant is drawing up a schedule of engagements that will see county assemblies, regional leadership, members of the County Executive Committees, professionals and the private sector players sensitized as well as make input on the developed legal documents for the bloc.

NOREB to partner with Export Promotion Council on positioning the region

In driving the regional agenda, the North Rift Economic Bloc is forging partnerships with both state and non state actors so as to speed up the process of unlocking the socio-economic potentials of the region.

The Chief executive officer of the North Rift Economic Bloc Dr Dominic Biwott mid July paid a courtesy visit to his Export Promotion Council counterpart Peter Biwott in his Nairobi office. The CEOs held discussions on partnering to identify niche products brand and market them in the international markets.

Export Promotion Council CEO Peter Biwott expressed his commitment in helping the bloc to do research and engage stakeholders in order to enable the region to develop an export strategy that will expand trading with overseas markets.

The EPC boss also pledged to assist the North Rift Economic Bloc to conduct program pre-feasibility studies and ensure continued involvement of the region in trade and investment development activities. This, he said, will open doors for partnerships and investment on flagship projects that will unlock the region’s potential. As an immediate engagement, Mr. Peter Biwott pledged to support NOREB to participate in the July 15th-21st Kenya Trade week and Exposition 2019 that was held in KICC, Nairobi.

Dr. Biwott welcomed the support, saying the North Rift is ripe for product mapping and branding. He said that the economic bloc is keen on leveraging on the improvement of production and the subsequent economies of scale, especially in agriculture and livestock sectors, to promote manufacturing and export trade.

The coming together of the two institutions to profile the region as an international product source will open new frontiers in the socio-economic development of the eight member counties.

County lawyers meet as NOREB eyes legal status

The North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) is slowly gaining momentum towards beginning its operations that will see the member counties synergize and take advantage of opportunities that lie within the region.
In putting this into motion, the legal frameworks that are needed to see the bloc take off were revisited mid May by a legal team of County attorneys drawn from the Eight member counties.
The team led by the Bloc’s Ag. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Dominic Biwott and the County Assemblies Coordinator Joseph Makilap began a two day rendezvous in Kabarnet, Baringo County to scrutinize where necessary review and update the cooperation agreement signed by the region’s governors in October 27th, 2015 to align the region’s formalization of documents.
Uasin Gishu governor H.E Jackson Mandago EGH who chairs the bloc has been passionate about region’s capability of exploring its potentials as a unit.
According to the blocs CEO, the amendment of the constitutive documents will give room for further engagements which will aid the bloc in attaining a legal status.
“The bloc is currently working round the clock to establish legal instruments that will cement NOREB in law. Noreb could be up and delivering its objectives by now if policies and frameworks were fast tracked years back. But I’m glad to report that upon updating and aligning the agreement with other constitutive documents, we will have set ourselves closer to take off” reiterated Biwott.
The legal minds from the counties are tasked with ensuring that the three formalization documents, the Cooperation Agreement, the NOREB Policy and the NOREB Bill are comprehensive and well aligned ahead of sensitization forums for county assemblies and stakeholders, after which the county legislative arms are expected to adopt the policy and pass the bill into law.
Uasin Gishu’s county Attorney Stephen Lel chaired the sessions that will rubber stamp amendments which will guide the bloc moving forward.