Nyandarua is preparing to produce goods and services for a market beyond Kenya, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking during a regional Export Promotion Council (EPC) tour in Nyahururu today, Governor Kimemia said the County will not play small for much longer.
“The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is in our sights. That is the league in which we want to play. We trust the Council will help Nyandarua’s traders to reap maximum profits for their products and services,” he said.
The Council contributes to Kenya’s foreign exchange by improving the nation’s balance of trade.
Governor Kimemia said the Council’s partnership would aid Nyandarua in achieving goals outlined in its second County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP2).
In the memorandum of partnership signed between the two entities, livestock products, horticultural products, fishing farming, tourism and woven products have been identified as frontline areas through which Nyandarua can grow its export portfolio.
The County Government has instituted supportive and infrastructural incentives in the short and medium term to compliment manufacturing and export growth, including the setting up of an industrial park and export processing zone; infrastructural development of road networks to have over 600 kilometres tarmacked; and rehabilitation and development of the Ol’Jororok airstrip as well as, potentially, Magumu.
It has also scheduled rehabilitation of the existing railway that connects Nyandarua to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR); is setting up land banks for industries; prioritized post-harvest preservation by setting up cold houses for potatoes and horticulture; and is establishing a revolving fund for farmers and traders.
“In the next 100 days, we shall be rolling out the trade fund, which is a subsidized business capital loan that will see my Government boost all small enterprises,” he said.
The County Government is also setting up a dry port at the SGR hub in Mai Mahiu; introducing sugar beets and giant bamboos farming; establishing industries for crop and livestock products; setting up cable cars at the Aberdares Ranges; and gazzetting Central Kenya’s only and largest fresh lake, Ol’Bollosat.
“With a robust and readily available human resource, we are also encouraging the use of both industrial and alternative sources of energy,” he added.
The County head thanked the Council for supporting local enterprise through seminars, workshops, exhibitions and market linkages cutting across the region and internationally.
“My prayer is that you shall not tire in extending further support to our entrepreneurs, most of whom are unable to meet expenses such as registration, attendance, travel and exhibition costs during vital events when you invite them,” he observed.
He invited the Council and other participants to Nyandarua’s first investors’ conference, scheduled for March this year.
EPC chairperson Mr. Jas Bedi said investors within the National Government are ready to do business with the County.
“Major corporations and departments are ready to move Nyandarua from a marginalized county to one that will benefit all its residents,” he said.
Representatives from Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Embu counties also attended the event.