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Industries scour counties for opportunities

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) has entered into a partnership with various organisations from Ukambani to unlock the huge investment potential in the region.

The Authority’s General Manager for Investment, Marketing and Promotion Ken Manyala said the collaboration is one of the strategies that they have come up with to try and promote investments using the resources available within the respective regions in the country.

“Development cannot be achieved in division; everyone needs to be together, they need to understand their challenges and so the strategy for KenInvest is to bring everyone in development and guide the process through investments,” he said.

This model has been used to promote domestic direct investments in other regions of the country and so far, it had been successful.

Huge deposits of minerals such as coal, iron ore and sand have been discovered in Eastern Province, which has been divided into Machakos, Makueni and Kitui counties, thus the rush to actualise these resources to ensure that they benefit not only the local community but the economy as a whole.

At a meeting with professionals from Ukambani, Mr Manyala said focus would now shift to how to set up industries that would enable value addition to these minerals and create employment opportunities.

A number of meetings have been scheduled to create awareness on investment projects and also try to mobilise resources for the exploitation of the resources.

The organisers hope that having conferences such as the Regional Investment Summit in Machakos slated for next month, will encourage investors to pump in their own funds towards the proposed projects.

“Most of the resources for development come from government but once the investment groups are well organised, we see a lot of support coming from other quarters,” he said.

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“Development partners are aware of what we are doing, but we are not yet presenting the agenda (to them) until we have all groups organised so that choices are made in terms of where to start and what kind of development is to be financed,” he further added.

Once this gets underway, the counties will be expected to market these opportunities so as to attract more investments into their areas.

Present at the meeting was Water Minister Charity Ngilu, who’s also the Kitui Central MP who welcomed the initiative saying it would go a long way in enabling them to develop the newly created counties which will in turn improve the livelihoods of the community.

“Professionals together with politicians and the people residing there now know that we can develop our region. We have been able to analyse what there is and what can be done within the short term, medium and long terms,” she said.

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