By: MOSES ODHIAMBO
Counties in the Western Kenya economic bloc have been challenged to take advantage of the cargo handling centre at the Kisumu International Airport.
Kenya Airports Authority board chairman David Kimaiyo on Wednesday asked the counties to create products that can compete in global markets.
The authority is seeking investors to set up cargo handling infrastructure at Kisumu airport, following the completion of fuel depot and cargo aprons.
The two components had not been set up at the airport despite the elevation of the lakeside airport to international status.
Mr Kimaiyo asked the 13 counties that form the Western Kenya economic bloc to seize the opportunity to grow economically.
Investors in Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, Vihiga, Bomet, Trans Nzoia and Kericho counties stand to benefit from the centre.
“They must now move with speed in their plans that will make the airport busier than it is today,” Mr Kimaiyo said when he met with Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, who is the chairman of the economic bloc.
However, Mr Ben Kitoto, the chief executive of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Kisumu arm, said the challenge was now on farmers and other investors to consider coming up with products that can be traded at the international markets.
“Now that there are facilities, we ask all our members to create the products for the development to make economic sense,” said Mr Kitoto.
Kisumu airport handles mainly passenger planes, which have also increased arrivals to the region to at least 400,000 annually.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION