, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – The Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism has announced plans to come up with two major commercial markets within the next four years, that will only sell commodities that fit international standards.
Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said the two markets to be located in Athi-River and Maragua constituency will act as pilot projects which will later be replicated in all counties.
Kandie said the markets will focus on goods that have value addition with the aim of reducing exportation of raw materials.
“Right now you cannot go to Gikomba or Muthurwa and start exporting those vegetables. No. So we need to upgrade our markets and say we to the level of exporting to, say the European Union.
Without disclosing the amount, Kandie said the ministry had already received the budgetary allocations to kick off the project next year.
The CS was speaking during the launch of the Ministry’s 2013-2017 Strategic Plan, under which this project will be implemented.
The plan also targets to expedite the East African Integration process to facilitate free movement of labour, goods and services and accelerate the expansion of the regional market.
“The implementation of the EAC Single Customs Territory through introduction of tax payment at first point of entry will not only help in moving goods from one place to another, but also boost trade,” Kandie noted.
The strategic plan will also include the establishment of a Tourism Regulatory Authority aimed at what she termed as order in the industry.
“It is already within the Act and this is really necessary for us, to regulate the sector. We have very many rogue tourist operators, agencies and others. We have to arrest this and bring sanity to sector,” she said.
The strategic plan is also aimed at guiding the ministry in increasing tourist arrival annually by investing more on conference tourism through Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).
“We don’t want to depend on our beaches and sites only. We want to come out of that tradition. As we enhance the latter, we want Kenya to lead in the region in terms to conferences, so that when its low season, conference tourism can cover up.”