NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Meru County has unveiled an investment vehicle to market opportunities available to investors and coordinate development projects in the county.
The Meru County Investment and Development Corporation (MCIDC) will promote investments in all sectors in the county in partnership with the private sector.
MCIDC is a statutory body established under the Meru County Investment and Development Corporation Act of 2014.
The Act provides that MCIDC mandate includes enhancing competitiveness of Meru County investments. It is also tasked with initiating Public Private Partnerships and joint ventures between the county government and investors for the benefit of Meru residents.
Meru Governor Peter Munya said the corporation will provide an institutional framework for the county government to mobilize funds and engage local and international investors.
“The launch of MCIDC will provide a structured avenue for the county to link investment and development thus improving the lives of Meru residents,” said Munya.
He said the County Government was particularly keen on high potential sectors like agriculture, energy, infrastructure and tourism and is already actively reaching out to the private sector to participate in various projects.
The county is already exploring mini-hydro power plants with an estimated capacity of over 100 Megawatts (MW) in a bid to lower costs of doing business in the county.
The county has 25 permanent rivers which it plans to exploit to generate electricity.
He says preliminary studies show that mini-hydro sites can be developed on the rivers with each site having the potential of generating two to five megawatts of electricity. The county is seeking partners to help develop these projects with a view to exporting it to the national grid and supply to local users including businesses.
Besides power generation, the county government is also keen on partnering with investors to set up a manufacturing hub for renewable energy equipment, invest heavily in infrastructure among other major investment opportunities.
On his part, industrialist Manu Chandaria, who was chief guest at the launch, welcomed the move saying this will boost Meru’s attractiveness to investors. He however urged the county government to come up with project blueprints to aid investors in making decisions.
“It is not enough to tell investors to come. You need to identify actual projects, set aside land and even come up with plans detailing how investors will come in,” said Chandaria.
He further said that development in the counties would only be realised through collaboration between private and public sector actors.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce Chairman Kiprono Kittony said there was need for land banks to ensure there is enough land left for large scale investment projects.
The Meru County Government will hold an international investment conference on June 25-27 at the Kenya Methodist University Meru Campus.
The first Meru investment conference was held in 2013.