Turkana County woos investors

Entrepreneurs have been urged to invest in Turkana County as it would soon be the hub for cross-border business in North Western Kenya.

Speaking Thursday during the first Turkana Business Exchange Forum organized by Invest In Africa (IIA), Turkana County Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the county had three international neighbours including Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia, all less than five hours away, thus placing Lodwar in strategic position as the centre for international trade.

Lotethiro further said the county government had put in place initiatives to ease doing business, citing trade licensing and regulations, development of policies like the Market and Hawkers Bills, construction of market stalls and Biashara Centre, a training centre for entrepreneurs.

The County Executive Committee member for Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs, Anthony Apalia said the devolved unit was committed in building an environment where businesses could thrive.

Invest In Africa, a non-profit organization, supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access more business opportunities, access skills and knowledge to run successful ventures.

So far, it has 100 suppliers, 25 of whom have been trained and three of their companies funded in Turkana County.

The Director of IIA-Kenya Patricia Ithau said that they were optimistic that the forum would come up with a supporting ecosystem, where businesses could grow towards achieving the Big 4 agenda.

According to the County Women representative Joyce Emmanikor, apart from training, local SMEs needed to keep abreast with operations of similar organizations in other parts of the country and also as be introduced to big investors so as to widen their scope.

Emmanikor reminded participants that 30% of the government’s procurement opportunities meant for women, youth and people living with disabilities was now anchored in law.

The County commissioner Seif Matata said the government would continue to provide an enabling environment for growing business opportunities for the residents by providing security.

As the national government we will continue to play our role by ensuring all county residents were safe and able to undertake their daily economic activities without undue interruptions, said Matata.

The forum also provided an opportunity for area investors to interact with government officials and other potential clients.

Source: Kenya News Agency