Elgeyo Marakwet is the fastest growing county in Kenya. This is according to a newly released report on Gross County Product (GCP) – a concept that is conceptually similar to county GDPs. From the report, Elgeyo Marakwet County grew by an average of 10 per cent between 2014 and 2017 (see Figure 1). This is almost double the national growth over the same period.
Thus, since devolution in 2013, EMC, as it is popularly known, grew faster than the rest of the counties. This gives the current governor, Hon. Jackson Mandago, something to gloat about as he finishes his second term in office.
It may be important to understand what has pushed EMC’s growth over the period seeing it achieve double-digit growth over the four-year period – something that was envisaged in Kenya’s Vision 2030 but the country has been unable to achieve.
Elgeyo Marakwet is mostly an agricultural county. Agriculture contributed to 80 per cent of its growth over the period. While annual data is available on how the sector performed annual over the period of analysis, it can be assumed that the sector grew faster over the period pushing the overall double-digit growth for the county. The county accounted for about 5 per cent of Kenya’s agricultural output according to the report making the county the fourth-highest contributor to Kenya’s agricultural output.
SThe services sector was the second-highest driver of growth in EMC. The sector contributed to 18.5 percent of EMCs growth over the period. The services that mostly contributed to this growth were real estate, public administration and defence, financial and insurance services, and education.
Other counties that grew the fastest over the period were Nyandarua (9.3 percent), Laikipia (8.6 percent), Siaya (8.4 percent), and Tharaka Nithi (8.3 percent). The slowest growing counties over the period, according to the report, are Embu (2.6 percent), Garissa (3.2 percent), Kisumu (3.5 percent), Kitui (3.5 percent) and Nandi (3.6 percent).