Kisumu County governor Jack Ranguma has pledged that the county administration will support regional trade.
He said the city will use its strategic location in the East African Community (EAC) to ease trade. Addressing concerns of the business community during a stakeholders’ dinner last weekend, Mr Ranguma outlined pillars around which the county will make its policies to achieve the objective.
“We want to make policies that will ensure our businesses become engines for creating jobs,” he said.
He said policies on agriculture, industrialisation, tourism and technology would be formulated to remove some of the barriers that have discouraged investors from setting up businesses in Kisumu.
“The county has identified a number of investors to put up the right ventures that would ensure growth in agribusiness to end the dependency on rain fed agriculture,” said Mr Ranguma
The stakeholders explored opportunities that would diversify focus from Nairobi as the main hub of industries that serve the markets in Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Looking at how much Mwanza has grown in the recent past due to the presence of the EAC arms in the port town, Kisumu stands a better chance to grow beyond production for local consumption as it is the case today,” said Bernard Odhiambo of the Kenya Investment Authority.
Mr Odhiambo further added that prospective international business ventures in Kisumu county needed to be profiled for ease of marketing.
AccessKenya business development manager Michael Muiruri said development around ICT would unlock the business potential of Kisumu County by reversing reliance on analogue technologies.
“There is need to set up telepresence and video conferencing facilities, information management systems for automation of revenue systems and increased Internet connectivity for greater business growth,” proposed Mr Muiruri
Kisumu deputy governor Ruth Odinga said the county would revitalise transport in Lake Victoria so that factories based in the city could deliver goods directly to Port Bell or Mwanza.
The business stakeholders urged the county administration to ensure it actualises the good development plans that have been earmarked to move the county forward.