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PS expresses Government commitment to improving border markets

The Principal Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development Dr. Kevit Desai has expressed the Government’s commitment to establishing structured border markets in terms of infrastructure.

Speaking to the press after a consultative meeting with the Busia County leadership at the County Commissioner’s Boardroom on Friday, Dr. Desai said many people rated a market as an infrastructure like stalls and a little bit of a fence.

“That is not a market and were it so, we would have created massive markets in this country and become wealthy,” he said adding that there was need to look at a market to include aspects of health of traders, storage spaces among others.

Dr. Desai explained that the move would create confidence among financiers and enhance their willingness to support the traders because the risks were mitigated.

“As a multi-agency team, we have a role to play in formalizing the trade which is currently informal and vulnerable to all sorts of situations,” he said adding that there was need to encourage women in trade.

He stated that the proposed Jumuiya market would be an international market and its plan was already included in the County Integrated Development Plan.

“As a government we also know that the creation of Jumuiya markets is a directive from President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said adding that another market would be established at Malaba border.

The PS added that County governments should be ready to work closely with business associations and address infrastructure with respect to having stores and capacities to fulfil the investment needs of traders at the cross border market ecosystems.

“In addition to that, we are looking for ways through which we can build the capacity of traders through research and skills development in order to help them appreciate the opportunities that exist with respect to border markets,” he said.

Dr. Desai further stated that the initiative would help in propelling the businesses into more meaningful entities and promote equity in access to the markets by traders across the country.

“One hundred acres will be dedicated for the construction of the Jumuiya market which is compatible with health regulations,” he said.

He added that a similar market would be constructed at Malaba border to complement the centrality of trade within cross border counties.

The official at the same time said that the government is developing a proactive engagement with traders to ensure that they abide by the rules and regulations from the Ministry of Health against COVID 19 pandemic.

“It is for this reason that we as stakeholders must ensure that the markets that we create in future will be inclusive not only to adhering to security and health regulations but also to the regulations of inter markets and so on,” he said.

Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said that the County is ready and willing to host the proposed Jumuiya market.

Mulomi added that the market would host both wholesale and retail alongside storage space.

The DG requested the National government to enhance the improvement of infrastructure within the county to enable smooth flow of traffic.

 

By Salome Alwanda

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