Elgeyo-Marakwet has received the nod from the Commission for University Education (CUE) to set up its own university on a 1,000-acre piece of land.
Governor Alex Tolgos Tuesday said that CUE had approved the setting up of the county’s first university, adding that funding would come from the national government.
“Leaders from the county got the go-ahead but on condition that the land was available,” said Mr Tolgos.
A recent proposal to convert the Tambach Teachers’ College into a university was met with resistance from a section of leaders, among them the institution’s chairman and former Energy minister Nicholas Biwott.
The Governor said he was targeting the Kerio Valley region where land is communally owned.
“We are asking both the Keiyo and Marakwet communities that have land in the valley to consider giving us the 1,000 acres,” he said.
Mr Tolgos said the communities would benefit greatly once the university was up and running, citing job opportunities and the provision of goods and services to the institution, among many other benefits.
Speaking while presiding over the Madaraka Day celebrations in Iten town, Mr Tolgos called on residents to change their attitudes on land ownership, noting that the county government’s efforts to buy land for building offices had hit a snag because residents were reluctant to sell.
He said the town’s growth had stagnated as plot owners clung on to undeveloped land.
“We were looking for between two to five acres but after we put that advertisement in the papers, we received no response,” he said.