Politics aside, big projects are shaping up

Monday, May 24th, 2021 00:00 | By
Migori Governor Okoth Obado. Photo/PD/FILE

In my native Migori county, there is this popular phrase associated with Governor Okoth Obado - tich tiyore - which translates to development is going on. Well, this article is not about Governor Obado and neither is it about Migori, but Kenya. 

A lot is going on, especially, on the political front and one would be forgiven for thinking that Kenya is just about politics. 

In fact, the grand infrastructural investments by President Uhuru Kenyatta, of course some incepted during the grand coalition government, are not only bearing fruits but also opening up markets outside Kenya. 

 Development economics agree that grand infrastructural development anchor sustainable economic growth. Two recent events illustrate the extent to which a number of grand projects are blooming and opening up socioeconomic opportunities to Kenyans.  

As the President was launching the Lamu Port, Kakuzi PLC; an avocado producing company was also celebrating the operationalisation of the new Lamu Port with an inaugural 80-ton cargo of avocados destined for France.

MV Seago Bremerhaven docked at the port of Lamu en-route France, with fresh avocados grown at the Kakuzi PLC Makuyu orchards in Muranga. France is one lucrative market that once sustained and optimised, will open up other markets in Europe.

 The look at the grand scale of things brings to the fore the realisation that the SGR and the ports of Mombasa and Lamu are major anchors for grand sustained economic development. 

Critics of the SGR have lamented that such a project cannot add to the economy, unless they are used as conduits for exports and not gateways for imports.

Well, it does appear that while the naysayers are lamenting, work is going on to deliver to Kenyans. 

I echo the words of Kakuzi PLC boss Chris Flowers, who notes that the operationalisation of the port provides wider benefits for agribusiness firms that import farm inputs and export produce. 

The launching of the port essentially operationalises the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project, which will benefit Kenyan producers immensely. 

Kenya is blessed with both arable land and a climate that is very conducive for agriculture and you would expect most politicians, making noise about Big Four agenda having been overtaken by the BBI, to leverage on the work going on behind the scenes to address the plight of their people.

 It does appear that while most politicians are busy politicking, delivery of Big Four is going on uninterrupted. 

In Kisumu another of the grand l project is poised to anchor a major manufacturing potential that will add to the country’s Gross Domestic product and employ over 2,500 residents in the lakeside city. Keda Ceramics, a Chinese ceramics factory will leverage on the new Kisumu Port and build a factory in Miwani area. 

The port offers the company a gateway to the larger East African market and into the untapped markets in Central Africa. 

It is instructive to note that the grand capital investment in the construction of the port, is opening up immense socioeconomic opportunities that will cushion many people from economic insecurities. 

Residents will benefit from employment, a boast in local economy and the corporate social responsibility.    

Company boss Ruiquin Li led a delegation to meet Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o last week after the firm completed all the necessary licensing procedures. 

Politics aside, when we sit back and analyse the socio-political and economic environment, we will realise that behind the political noise a lot has happened.

As a country, we have a greater launch-pad for economic development that puts us in very good path going forward.  [email protected]

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