Counties change tack, embrace State-driven industrialisation plan
For decades, hectares of land in the counties have been lying idle. Some of the rich lands are still bushy, fallow or barren with nothing happening on them.
But in a fundamental shift in policy, the State is now focusing on utilising the resources equitably and sustainably with the plan to promote manufacturing across all the 47 counties beginning in earnest.
The national government in conjunction with the counties have identified idle land and marked them for construction of multi-million-shilling industrial and aggregation parks.
Already, the counties have started to establish the parks as the State moves to make its promise a reality. Last week, Nyanza region witnessed the launch of three Aggregation and Industrial parks in three counties, by the Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Investment, Moses Kuria (pictured). He launched three industrial parks in Migori, Nyamira and Siaya.
The counties contributed Sh750 million and the national government added a similar amount to make them implement the project. This financial year (2023/2024), the government is to spend Sh4.7 billion to establish industrial parks in all the 47 counties.
Speaking while launching the Siaya County industrial park, Kuria said this will open new possibilities for companies to boost commercial productivity. Article, 60(1), sectorise land in Kenya as either public, privately owned or community land.
It says that Land in Kenya shall be held, used and managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient, productive and sustainable. Yet despite the provisions of the law, there are still abundant challenges facing equitable access to land. This includes and not limited to land rights and sustainable and productive of its management among others.
Siaya Governor James Orengo said the parks will now become the new engine of economic growth in the counties.
“Let us support establishment of the parks to attract more investments, create more wealth and jobs,’’ he said.
Nyanza’s uncultivated land is abundant and utilised resourcefully to secure food security, Migori governor Ochillo Ayacko said. “We have land that can be used to dramatically reduce poverty and boost growth, to create jobs,’’ said Ayacko. Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo also supported the industrial parks idea as good and urged investors to come and invest in the counties.
Kuria said the government is building industrial parks with the primary aim to promote economic growth, and to attract new investments.
“This will create employment, support local businesses, and protect the environment as well,’’ said the CS. He told the people of Nyanza to support the parks initiative. Orengo welcomed the idea as good and urged the people to embrace and separate development from politics. Some of the benefits of industrial parks are new roads, transportation and environmental services, and new businesses. The parks will also provide more jobs for the local population by increasing the demand for manpower and skills.