Kisii County Government and the United Kingdom (UK) Government have committed to fast-track the joint development programmes in the county.
The County Governor Simba Arati said that they are in discussion with the Kisii municipality on ways to fast-track UK Health Alliance and Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED).
Arati said that the Kenya UK Health Alliance is an agreement signed by the Kenya and UK governments in 2021 and one of its pillars is to build an East Africa centre of excellence for health education and training dubbed ‘Kisii Medical City’ to be situated at the Kisii University.
Speaking at the Council of Governors (CoG) offices in Nairobi, the governor said the centre will train Kenya health workers to UK standards and adoptive measures which will make it easy for Kenya health workers to easily access employment in the UK.
“The proposed medical city will support other medical schools in three universities in the lake region economic bloc namely Maseno, Masinde Muliro and Egerton,” said Arati.
The governor explained that the medical city will be anchored on an eco-friendly ecosystem that is being developed by the Kisii municipality under the UK funded sustainable urban economic development programme.
“Through the SUED programme, the municipality has an extensive urban economic plan detailing key values and climate resilient infrastructure geared towards unlock the economic potential of the county,” said Arati.
He added that the SUED programme is also supporting key value chains like avocado processing, banana value addition and integrated waste management.
“These programmes are key to my development agenda in the county and I commit to work with all partners to ensure that they are implemented swiftly for the benefit of the people of Kisii,” said Arati.
He continued… “We have reiterated our commitment to the British High Commission and soon I will lead a delegation to President Dr. William Ruto to brief him on the current status of this implementation.”
Deputy British High Commissioner to Kenya Julius Court said that they are proud and excited over the partnership with Kisii County and they want to continue with the partnership in the various value chains like avocado and bananas.
“We think there is great potential and we look forward to the agricultural processing and the new work on health. These are the things that the people of Kisii and Kenya are looking into,” said Court.
He added that they are broadly looking at continually working with Kenya in the health partnership and look forward to working with President Ruto and his new government on exactly these kinds of issues.
“We will be opening the Kisii factory in November and it will have 100 direct jobs, but equally important it will bring the avocados from 3,000 farmers across Kisii County, which means more revenue for farmers and potential to grow that even further,” said Court.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a