Governor Kibwana confirmed to kenyagist.com on Thursday, January 23, that he had signed an agreement with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) under the Prosper Africa initiative that would see direct cooperation between the US government entities and Makueni County.
“Makueni on Thursday became the first out of the eight prospective counties to sign a memorandum of understanding with the USAID to operationalize a US-Kenya trade agreement,” Kibwana stated.
This ambitious program was launched through an agreement between the US and the Kenyan government, in which American companies are seeking to partner with counties and the private sector to advance Kenya’s journey to self-reliance.
This initiative is geared towards contributing to job creation, improving economic growth, and expanding tax revenues in Kenya’s secondary cities and rural areas in select counties.
According to USAID Kenya Mission Director Mark Meassick who signed the agreement with Kibwana, USAID will utilize its networks to support workforce development, policy formulation and select public investments in the county.
Some of the sectors set to be directly impacted by the partnership in Makueni include tourism, manufacturing, technology, finance and health.
“My administration will move with speed to ensure a legislation in the county assembly is passed for sustainability and ensure availability of funds where co-funding of projects is required,” Kibwana stated after the historic signing.
The Prosper Counties Initiative came into the picture on October 30, 2019, at the second American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Business Summit, whose aim was to strengthen trade relations between Kenyan and the US.
Under the agreement fronted by US Ambassador Kyle McCarter, the government will identify particular projects and areas which it would like to see a greater participation by US companies.
It will also identify business climate issues and unlock bottlenecks that might hinder US companies from taking advantage of business opportunities in the regions that the partnerships are set to take place.
Other county governments expected to benefit from the project include Nakuru, Kakamega, Mombasa, Kisumu, Isiolo Kisii, and Kiambu.