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Export Processing Zone to be established in Taita Taveta

Plans to establish an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Taita Taveta County are at an advanced stage following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the County and the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) on Wednesday.

Leading the county’s delegation, Deputy Governor, Mjala Mlagui, praised the move, saying it will make a huge social and economic impact in the County by not only creating employment opportunities for the residents, but also opening up the region for national and global commerce.

“This is a momentous opportunity toward gaining social and economic foothold not only in the country but also put our industrial capabilities on the global map,” stated Mlagui.

In its commitment to the success of the project, the County Government has set aside 600 acres of land at Ndii to pave way for construction activities set to begin as soon as a Policy Act of Engagement is developed and signed.

The County is at a vantage position to transform into an economic powerhouse, given its proximity to key transport networks such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the Nairobi-Mombasa highways, and the Taveta highway linking the County to neighboring Tanzania.

On his part, EPZA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Henry Obino, said that plans are in motion to start the project, which will see the establishment of satellite industrial parks across the four Sub-counties of Voi, Taita, Taveta, and Mwatate.

The National Government, under President Uhuru Kenyatta, has embraced an aggressive industrialization strategy geared toward transforming the structure of the economy right from the devolved units.

The current industrialization strategy aims to place Kenya in the category of industrialized nations by 2030, a target that can be achieved in spite of the economic slowdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The industrialization strategy continues to emphasize the establishment of selective industrial hubs in the counties to produce for export and in turn, spur economic growth and expand employment potential for the local residents.

By 2030 and through the Industrial Transformation Programme, Kenya has prioritized ten flagship megaprojects in sectors that the country has a competitive advantage in.

The targeted sectors include agro-processing, leather, oil, gas, and mining, textile and apparel, and fisheries.

By Arnold Linga Masila