The Members of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) South Rift Chapter have hailed Nakuru Governor, Lee Kinyanjui for being named the Business-Friendly Governor of the Year.
The Governor is among three Kenyans who have been feted by the African Leadership Magazine for their outstanding management practices and excellent achievements in Africa’s commercial sector.
Other victors honoured in the hotly contested African Business Leadership Awards 2020, include KenGen CEO, Rebecca Miano – who bagged the African Inspirational Business Leadership Award and Equity Bank CEO, James Mwangi, who was announced the winner in the African CEO of the Year Category.
The winners were unveiled by the editorial board of the African leadership Magazine last week, in a sharply contested competition that attracted 220,000 entries on the website and across social media platforms from Africans across the continent and in Diaspora.
Speaking in Nakuru town on Tuesday, they noted that Governor Kinyanjui had progressively worked to improve the ease of doing business within the county and it was inspiring to see his achievements gain international recognition.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers South Rift Chapter Chairperson, Peris Mbuthia noted at the start of this year, the governor signed into law four bills including the Trade bill meant to promote the county’s newly acquired industrial status.
She observed that new statutes that also encompass The Nakuru Enterprise Fund Act, Nakuru County Tourism and Marketing Bill and Nakuru Cooperative Revolving Development Fund Bill had been crafted to attract capital flow into the county, empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), create employment opportunities for women and the youth and expand the devolved unit’s revenue base.
Ms. Mbuthia said Nakuru was leading on ease of doing business in the country as it had put in place friendly tax regimes and reduced bureaucracies in acquiring business permits.
She said the County Boss had constituted the Nakuru County Investment Board whose purpose is to source for both international and local investors and to promote business meetings, investment conferences and exhibitions.
The Secretary to Nakuru Business Association, Lorna Mwambai noted the governor’s efforts have seen at least 100 local and foreign investors express interest in setting up shop at the planned Naivasha Special Economic Zone, which will be home to the much-awaited Naivasha Industrial Park and the already constructed Naivasha Inland Container Depot.
“The investors from India, Europe, USA, Netherlands, China, Sri Lanka and Thailand, among other countries, seek to establish key investments within the economic zone. Local investors also have their eyes fixed on the upcoming economic hub,” she stated
The East African Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture Director, Njuguna Kamau said the governor’s efforts in supporting planned upgrade of Lanet Military Airstrip into a Commercial Civilian Airport will also make it easier for the county to export horticultural produce and receive hordes of international tourists.
“Flower farmers in Naivasha will have a chance to exploit the huge market available by increasing their exports to Europe and the United States. Nakuru is a very critical area in the aviation industry thus the need for an airport. 65 percent of flowers exports are from Naivasha,” stated Kamau.
As Nakuru gears for city status, Governor Kinyanjui’s administration has lined up various projects, including working closely with the Kenya Electricity Generating Company and the Geothermal Development Company to produce cheap power to lure companies to the proposed industrial park.
The move to extend the SGR (standard gauge railway) to Naivasha is also a big plus for the county and investors.
By Jane Ngugi/Dennis Rasto