NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has called on investors and the public at large to support and attend the upcoming Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Conference next month.
Speaking during a meeting with partners and stakeholders in Nairobi on Thursday, Wamalwa said for a long-time investors have kept off ASAL counties urging them to exploit the potential that the counties offer.
“It is a platform that brings together all the 29 ASAL counties to look at the challenges that they are all facing as well as the opportunities and the potentials that can be devolved as per our national government’s vision 2030 and so I ask everyone to attend the conference and come learn a few things about these counties,” Wamalwa said.
He further said the conference seeks to explore unexploited opportunities and areas of strategic partnership to achieve economic empowerment in the ASALS especially among pastoralist communities.
“For many years these are counties that have been looked at as low potential so there has been little investment in these counties and little infrastructure development but when we look at President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, these counties hold the highest potential and just recently he launched one of the largest wind project in Loyangalani,” said Wamalwa.
This year’s conference will be held at Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County from September 10 to 12.
Among the areas of interest to be discussed include minerals, mechanized irrigation for food security, meat industry, value addition, magical tourist destinations and culture.
It is the second ASAL conference since the inception of devolution.
The first one was held last year in Malindi, Kilifi County.
The 29 ASAL counties are Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Laikipia, Narok, Kajiado, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Embu, Migori, Homa Bay, Nakuru and Kiambu.