Horizon News Reporter
The grand journey to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment gained the much needed impetus with the National Government in collaboration with the County Governments gearing to establish County Aggregation Industrial Parks (CAIPS).
The National Government through the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry (MITI) and Devolved Governments through Council of Governors (COG) chose to establish the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks in line with the bottom-up economic transformation agenda.
His Excellency President William Ruto described County Industrial Parks as valuable for investment and magnets of technology that drive production.
He committed to work with the counties and other partners to accelerate delivery of such parks across the country in appreciation that they promote investment, create employment and they will boost exports.
The President was addressing Governors, Top Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry Executives and Development Partners on promotion of Trade, strengthening of market linkages and, the establishment of Aggregation and Industrial Parks in the Counties.
To set the ball rolling, the Council of Governors and the State Department for Industry on behalf of Busia, Embu, Garissa, Homa bay, Kirinyaga, Meru, Mombasa, Murang’a, Nakuru, Nandi, Nyamira, Siaya, Uasin Gishu and Migori counties has sent out bids for the construction of Proposed County Aggregation and Industrial Parks in respective Counties.
To accomplish this, the government shall provide ksh.250 Million to each of the above counties which shall be matched with a similar amount or more by the counties.
Taking the cue from the Government, the Council of Governors pledged to match the figure with an equal amount or more, besides providing a minimum of 100 acres of land for the establishment of the Parks.
To familiarize themselves with similar entities, the Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Industry Hon Moses Kuria led some of the governor’s on a study tour for some of the private sector models of aggregation and export centers in order to get a deeper understanding on how industrial parks work.
He said the Government was putting up aggregation and industrial parks in every county so that it’s not only the big people who play in this field but the hustlers and the MSMEs.
The Chair of the Council of Governors (CoG) H.E Anne Waiguru said they had gained invaluable insights on the potential of industrial parks and adoption of tech to drive economic growth on their tour of Tatu City, Twiga foods industries and Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).
“This benefits our agenda of trade promotion, market linkage and development of aggregation centers and industrial parks in counties”, she added.
According to the Principal Secretary for Industry Dr. Juma Mukhwana, CAIPs are a farmer centric and export-oriented approach that ensure small scale farmers and producers contribute to the aggregation, marketing and export of produce from across the country.
Dr. Mukhwana who was addressing a joint meeting between senior staff in the State Department for Industry, The National Treasury and the Council of Governors said CAIPs will boost overall national Argoprocessing, increase farmer Income, create jobs, reduce post-harvest loss, connect counties through Commodity Exchange (KOMEX) and Warehouse Receipting.
The PS said that the government had earmarked Ksh.4.5 Billion for the above counties which had shown readiness to pioneer construction of CAIPs under phase I.
He said the sheds will be equipped with common three-phase electricity, water, effluent management, internet, security and common transport.
Once the parks are constructed the government has agreed with Equity Bank who have promised ksh.250 billion to support the purchase of manufacturing equipment for industries willing to invest in the parks.
Through a support project being implemented through the State Department for Industry dubbed ‘Viwanda Mashinani’, the government is also establishing a fund to give Micro, small and Medium Enterprises and young people equipment worth ksh. 6 million each to commence manufacturing activities.
The Chair of Trade and Industrialization in the CoG, Machakos Governor H.E Wavinya Ndeti said she looked forward to increased capacity of the Counties to establish and develop profitable industrial enterprises which will in turn create more job opportunities for Kenyan people and grow local economies.
County Aggregation and Industrial Parks have attracted many partners and potential investors including Afro-Exim Bank, Equity Bank, Trade Mark East Africa, DHL, Tatu City, KNTC, Twiga Foods and KIRDI.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will provide technical assistance.
The establishment of the 47 County Aggregation and Industrial Parks will ensure aggregation of farm products and their direct sale to markets in and outside the country through a network of international logistics companies.
The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry will additionally set up agro-processing and value addition cottage industries in the counties that will spur local economic growth and make farming lucrative as a job creating mechanism.