Nakuru County government is targeting to unlock the Sh.120 billion potential of the vast devolved unit by holding its first ever three-day International Investors Conference later this month.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said over 100 multinationals had confirmed their participation in the event dubbed Nakuru International Investors Conference (NIICO) to be held from November 29 to December 1 in Naivasha Sub-County.
“We are partnering with Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), Egerton University, Kabarak University and Oserian Flowers in creating this platform to network with local and international business leaders interested in investing in the county,” said the governor.
The conference will feature a series of smaller meetings; focusing on various pertinent topics, key among them investment, public-private partnerships, youth engagement and governance.
The main business areas of interest will be the environment and waste management, renewable energy, agri-business, infrastructure, real estate, and IT-enabled services.
The County will also be seeking significant uptake in opportunities in the apparels and textiles, leather, property, tourism and logistics sectors.
Opportunities at the national and county government levels will also be on display. The governor sought to assure that security had been beefed up ahead of the conference.
The KNCCI Chairperson, Kiprono Kittony said the overall goal of the conference themed “Harnessing our Natural Resources to Spur Growth” is to ensure Nakuru’s potential as an economic and industrial hub is fully realized.
“In our quest to unlock the region’s Sh.120 billion potential, we are bringing in local and international investors for one-on-one consultations with local business people. This approach is very effective in addressing business and investment challenges in Nakuru and adjoining counties,” said Kittony.
The KNCCI boss said various studies had confirmed that Nakuru County had the most friendly tax regime in the country coupled with good governance, making it a favorable destination for both local and international investors.
“With its abundant natural resources, good infrastructure, strategic location and reliable supply of skilled labour, Nakuru County is a huge untapped goldmine and game-changer whose time to mainstream into the national socio-economic fabric cannot wait any longer,” observed Kittony.
The conference will also explore emerging challenges, and what policy priorities should take centre stage, so as to spur the desired investment in the country.
Kinyanjui said small and medium enterprises from neighbouring counties had also been invited to take part in the event that further seeks to identify feasible investment opportunities that will create more jobs for youths in the region.
He said the county government was working with the private sector towards creating a favourable environment for business.
The devolved unit has already zoned out the Egerton Agricity and parts of Naivasha for industrial parks.
“We will showcase an Agricity to be set up in collaboration with Egerton University for value addition in the agriculture sector. We will drive a new geography of trade and investment and become an important locomotive for regional and global economic growth “he said.
Kinyanjui stated that he had made a whirlwind of local and international trips to promote and market the investment conference.
“My administration is committed to promoting the event. A good example is my most recent trip to Estonia where l am wooing investors ahead of the NIICO Conference”.
The governor noted that the Conference is a big score for Kenya’s tourism arena as it will once again market Kenya on the tourism destination maps of the world.
Kenya has lately experienced a thriving tourism by hosting prestigious global events like Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Global Partnership on Economic Development Conference (GPEDC) in the last two years among others.
These meetings, conferences and exhibitions have positioned Kenya as an important player in the conference tourism.
By Anne Mwale