Governors commit to streamline approvals and provide incentives for industrial investment in counties

Governors have committed to streamline approvals for industrial investments in counties so as to capitalize on opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements.

Council of Governors (COG) chair Anne Waiguru says the 47 devolved units will also provide incentives for investors to set up agro-processing factories in counties.

Speaking at the University of Nairobi during the opening ceremony of the Kenya Industrialization Conference 2023, Waiguru called on investors to take advantage of the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks (CAIPs), being set up in counties to tap into available agro-processing opportunities.

She said that County Governments will support access to finance by farmers and Medium and Micro Small Enterprises (MSMEs), and provision of necessary infrastructure including roads, electricity, water and sewerage system.

The governor said besides the allocation of land for construction of the shades and financing the constructions of CAIPs, County Governments will also play a role in facilitating market linkages by connecting the park’s businesses with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders in the region.

“These parks will boost overall national agro-processing, increase farmer Income, create jobs, reduce post-harvest loss, consolidate Kenya produce for intercounty trade and export market,” she pointed out.

The chair said counties are also developing guidelines and legislations to facilitate regional, inter and intra-county trade.

“As a Council, we note and appreciate the role of the private sector and partners in transforming the counties’ development and growth through investments. Your contribution is immense and is evident across counties,” she said.

Further, County Governments will facilitate the development of supply chains, offering training and capacity-building programs to local businesses, and assisting with market research to identify growth opportunities, the governor said while inviting the private sector to join in creating thriving industrial parks.

“The County Governments cannot accomplish these goals in isolation. I invite you to join us in creating thriving industrial parks that will drive economic growth, generate substantial returns, and make a lasting impact on our economies. We can rekindle the spark in our cotton fields, breathe new life into our leather and apparel factories, and unlock the untapped potential of our pyrethrum, coffee, banana, avocado and tea farms,” the COG chair said.

Waiguru who is also the Governor for Kirinyaga said counties are leveraging on distributed economies, an alternative structure for society with small-scale businesses in a local economy context, that will lead to a more sustainable integration.

She said with 47 distributed economies, investors have the unique opportunity to tap into diverse local endowments organized in the form of flexible units that are synergistically connected with each other.

Waiguru said capitalizing on the distributed economies will allow counties to integrate their value chains towards AfCFTA implementation and also transform the devolved units by creating employment, expanding income potentials, and eliminating poverty.

“To be more specific, Agribusiness presents one such opportunity across counties in Kenya. Article 3 (3) of this agreement seeks to promote industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development, and food security. This presents an opportunity of transforming Kenya’s agriculture into high value-added industries in Counties,” she said.

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