Lodwar, March 21, 2024 (Public Communications and Media Relations)

Turkana and West Pokot County Governments have today joined forces to host a groundbreaking investment conference in Lodwar.

The Conference themed “Unveiling Opportunities: Redefining Northern Kenya as an Investable Destination,” has brought together government officials, development partners, business communities in Turkana and West Pokot and potential investors to showcase and unlock the immense potential of the region.

The Turkana Deputy Governor, Dr. John Erus, officiated the Conference with a positive note and forward-looking message of a County Government with a plan to tap into investment opportunities for prosperity.

He highlighted several areas ready for investment, ranging from community-driven businesses to the county’s rich archaeological heritage tourism soon to be showcased in a new presidential taskforce museum project.

DG spoke about the power of technology in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Turkana’s technical schools were being wired for the future with optic fiber connectivity, and the government is actively encouraging cooperatives to embrace new technology as a key to self-sufficiency.

DG said, “The Huduma Biashara Center, a space designed to bring together all government services under one roof is a collaboration service born out of productive partnerships. This spirit of collaboration extended to a bold proposal about a future conference specifically designed to foster interaction and collaboration between all counties in the North Rift. The future is in the Northern Kenya Region.”

Dr Erus said let the conference be a learning opportunity, a chance to glean valuable knowledge to improve governance.

His made it clear that Turkana County is on the move, embracing technology, investment, and collaboration to build a brighter future, not just for itself, but for the entire North Rift region.

The DG declared that North Rift is the future of Kenya, the future of Africa, and the Northern Kenya must guard it together.

The Deputy Governor for West Pokot County, Robert Komolle expressed his sincere gratitude to USAID Kuza for the instrumental role in making the conference a reality.

He acknowledged the historical oversight of Northern Kenya in regards to investment and development.

Despite facing many challenges, DG Komolle said, the region remains a treasure trove of untapped potential.

Focusing on West Pokot County, the DG Robert emphasized the wealth of investment opportunities within its borders, that include the booming mining industry, the rich tapestry of cultural heritage, the economic potential of beekeeping (apiculture), a thriving livestock production sector.

These opportunities, he said can be harnessed to create value-added products, generate energy, and strengthen the education sector.

In addition to this, DG Komolle underscored that the region holds a significant promise for advancements in agriculture, renewable energy, and hospitality industry.

He also mentioned that through cooperation and active participation from the private sector, stakeholders can redefine the narrative surrounding the region and unlock its true potential.

The Chief of Party for USAID Kuza, Wyanie Bright highlighted the organization’s contributions to the region.

USAID Kuza has trained disaster risk management officials, financed over 11,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) led by youth, and invested significantly in climate financing.

The efforts, she said, have contributed to the creation of nearly 19,800 jobs across Kenya.

Representing the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Nyawira Kamau emphasized the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors. She was picking on behalf of the KNCCI President, Erick Ruto.

She advocated for policy change that fosters business growth, establish market linkages, and build capacity for businesses to compete effectively, while recognizing the immense tourism potential.

The Turkana County Deputy Secretary, Dr Albert Gamoe. stressed that peace is paramount for development and urged participants to deliberate on ways to foster cooperation and peace building initiatives.

The Member of County Assembly for Lapur Ward, who is also the Chair of the House Committee on Finance, Planning, Trade and E-government, Hon Michael Ewoi highlighted the vast potential of both counties, ranging from solar energy and blue economy opportunities to large-scale livestock production and mineral resources.

Hon Ewoi stressed the Turkana County Local Content Bill, already in the floor of the House, designed to attract investment by ensuring local investors participate in tapping the available opportunities.

The West Pokot County Executive Member for Trade, Claire Chemutai Parklea, highlighted their successful collaboration with USAID Kuza to establish a fresh market produce at Marich Pass. She emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in promoting peace and economic development.

She emphasized the importance of changing the narrative of insecurity and fostering peace between the two counties.

The County Executive for Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs, David Erukudi, emphasized the importance of the investment conference’s success.

He further stressed the need to revive cross-border trade corridors connecting the county with its neighboring regions.

Opening these corridors, he argued, would create new investment opportunities and produce enormous business opportunities.

CECM called on attendees to view the conference as a chance to learn and explore potential areas for investment within the county.

this event was supported by USAID Kenya, USAID Kuza, Feed the Future, Impact for Northern Kenya Fund, AV Ventures, FCDC, USAID Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, and ACDI/VOCA.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024