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Counties told to tap into power of partnerships to boost economic growth

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 02:45 | By
ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo
ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo. PHOTO/Print

Counties in Nyanza intend to collaborate and actively reach out to both local and international investors in a new drive to grow their economies.

Experts and business elites say collaborative efforts among the country’s 47 devolved units can significantly enhance economic growth, increase tourism earnings and attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs).

During the pre-Nyanza International Investment Conference in Kisumu graced by ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo (pictured), it emerged that having at least one Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) per county or by strengthening existing IPAs, all counties can attract more investments including new businesses.

 Investment promotion

The weekend breakfast meeting, stressed on the importance that investment promotion agencies play in promoting investment opportunities, providing information to investors, and facilitating business-friendly policies and networking among business moguls.

“Counties should identify their unique strengths and focus on specific sectors. Regular investment forums, workshops, and networking events like this can facilitate dialogue and build relationships,’’ said Owalo said at the event hosted by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

Listening to investors’ needs, concerns, and preferences, the CS noted, was essential as it will help the counties to create channels for feedback and engage in open discussions.

The planned investment conference aims to explore investment opportunities in Nyanza to unpack existing and potential development challenges and turn them into investable opportunities for investors.

Owalo said counties should identify their competitive strengths and focus on specific sectors to grow their domestic economies, whether it’s agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, or technology, focused to yield better results.

“Tailoring incentives and policies to suit each sector can attract specialised investors, since investors look for efficient infrastructure-roads, hospitality, real estates, ports, utilities, and digital connectivity,’’ he added.

Owalo recognised the untapped potential in Nyanza, saying that the region boasts a rich tourism heritage, and the development of new road networks, mining fields, fisheries, and the blue economy can significantly boost economic growth if well harnessed.

He said: “Nyanza is not just a region; it’s an opportunity. Our floods may have tested us, but they’ve also revealed our resilience. Come, invest in our agribusiness, our eco-tourism, and our renewable energy projects. Let’s build a future together.” Ken Onditi, the KNCCI Nyanza Regional Director said they are harbouring investment dreams as “vast as Lake Victoria itself.” “Our rich tourism heritage, from the historic Kit Mikayi rock formations to the vibrant fish and traditional art, soapstone’s and graffiti markets, can draw visitors. But we need infrastructure—new roads, upgraded local airports to make Nyanza accessible,” he added.

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