Counties should tap resources lying idle to prosper

With the advent of devolution now in its second term, a majority of county governments are, despite various administrative and economic challenges by and large forging ahead in developing their regions for the benefit of local residents.
Whereas some of the counties have fared on reasonably well, others are nonetheless mired in supremacy tussles mostly between the executive and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) over allocation of scarce resources. This turn of events has tended to impede any useful projects from taking off to the detriment of locals.
A number of savvy and forward looking county governors have through strategic planning come up with programmes aimed at lifting their subjects out of poverty, through prudent use of available resources without necessarily relying too much on National Government. Their counties have, for example, become pioneers in provision of health insurance to their residents, creation of jobs, besides having started several value addition projects meant to haul cash crop farmers out of their perennial dependency on National Government among other initiatives.
To wean themselves off too much dependence on National Government counties such as Kajiado and Narok should instead cash in on their various distinct and unique advantages to generate revenue independently.
To do this successfully, counties need to look further afield for ways and means to forge ahead without necessarily running to central government to be bailed out whenever they encounter challenges.
Periodically, some positive cultural festivities, both local and regional are staged in various Sub-Counties, but often such events pass unnoticed. These can be packaged and marketed to attract tourists.
Devolved government chiefs should, for instance, take note of the fact that tourist arrivals comprising domestic and foreign visitors peak in the festive season of December and New Year, and position themselves to woo them with concessions by marketing themselves as safe travel destinations or even investment hubs. It is gratifying to note that Narok County and international media firm Thomson Reuters recently signed a multi-million marketing deal to boost branding and marketing of the Maasai Mara Reserve, famed for wildebeest migration in the international arena. Kajiado County on its part should follow suit and market its wildlife gems such as Amboseli National Park and other game sanctuaries and conservancies to boost tourist arrivals for the benefit of locals.
The county should take advantage of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to boost tourism. The county boasts of the longest railway tunnel in East Africa. It also enjoys relatively close proximity to the futuristic Konza City.
Cultural events, among the Maasai who reside in both Narok and Kajiado counties, could if branded and professionally marketed earn counties much needed revenue.
Counties can diversify and exploit geographical advantages or even put up state-of-the-art medical facilities and rebrand and market themselves as world class medical tourism destinations.
The two counties should besides relying on wild game viewing and sightseeing seek partnerships with neighbouring other counties to market tailor-made unique tourist circuits.
The governors of these counties should tap their resources lying idle to prosper and thus drag their residents out of rasping poverty.

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