Turkana Deputy Governor Dr. John Erus has urged players in the trade and cooperative sectors to adopt joint planning in order to maximize the benefits associated with the growth of the sector.
Speaking during the closure of a two-day meeting by the sector players to deliberate on strategies for promoting trade and investment in Turkana, DG Erus insisted that collaboration will hasten the drive towards making Turkana a trade and investment destination of choice in local and international circles.
Dr Erus lauded the sector players for taking the initiative to meet, set up a communication platform, and deliberate on how to share responsibilities rather than compete against each other.
“I am aware that you have discussed regulatory frameworks and the input of the county in promoting trade and cooperatives through relevant bills by the County Assembly; what remains is to coordinate the implementation of the frameworks,” he said.
Recognizing the meeting would benefit the entire sector by creating an enabling environment for entry and growth in business, DG added the move would also benefit traders with relevant training and exposure to opportunities.
He acknowledged the existence of challenges, especially in business financing and raising capital. DG Erus, however, noted that the county had deliberately initiated youth and women’s empowerment funds and was also working towards an investment promotion bill to address the challenges in a structured way.
He also called for sustained showcasing of Turkana as a land of potential and virgin opportunities so as to wipe off the negative perceptions that people have held against Turkana over the years.
During the meeting, the need for registration with the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the formation of a trade promotion sector working group and a technical committee, and the co-creation of activities were also discussed.
The stakeholders were drawn from the Trade, Education, Tourism, and Cooperatives Department, non-state actors, USAID Nawiri, and state actors responsible for medium- and small-scale enterprises.
The meeting was also attended by Chief Officers Samuel Ekaale (trade and cooperatives), Joseph Epuu (gender and youth affairs), Triza Amoni (tourism), and Robert Loyelei (sports).
Directors included James Lokwale (trade), Stephen Eregae (vocational training and education), and Jackson Nakusa (sports).