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Make counties more effective

Monday November 11 2019

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Counties have been described as the low-hanging fruit the country needs to harvest to ease the pressure on the national government.

This is in reference to the huge potential that could make a difference if even a fraction of it could be harnessed.

But most of the devolved units continue to rely on National Treasury funding and, whenever the funds are delayed, as often happens, almost everything comes to a standstill.

The 47 counties are grappling with pending bills that have crippled many small-scale businesses started by local investors who saw the benefit of working with counties to implement infrastructural and other projects.

But cartels have, sadly, also taken root. These bottlenecks must be removed to unleash the potential to drastically change the face of rural Kenya.



As Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has pointed out, there is a need to reduce government bureaucracy to boost business competitiveness and attract investors.

As the head of the institution that oversees counties, Mr Lusaka knows that even red tape has been devolved.

The counties have been acting like little replicas of the inept national government.

County governments must come up with plans and incentives to attract private investors to set up industries, so that the regions become new centres for job creation, easing the national unemployment crisis.


The Kenya Private Sector Alliance can play a pivotal role here, having the knowledge, experience and expertise on how to overcome these challenges and boost industrialisation.

Hopefully, Kepsa will increase its interaction with the counties to advise on how the sector can help to enhance growth and development.

A few counties have demonstrated how to nurture industrialisation. Indeed, counties can become the cogs in the wheel of progress.