North Rift woos Chinese investors after WB ranking

The Chinese government has pledged to rally its investors to scout for business opportunities in the North Rift region.

This comes about a week after the World Bank (WB) ranked North Rift’s Uasin Gishu County as the most investor-friendly local destination.

Speaking in Eldoret on Tuesday, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said China will call on its people to take advantage of the investment chances especially in Uasin Gishu County.

“I am very happy about the conducive investment in North Rift and more specifically Uasin Gishu County,” Ambassador Xianfa said.

The envoy added that he will see to it that Chinese media companies with bureaus in Nairobi film documentaries about the investment opportunities in Uasin Gishu so that the people back in China can consider venturing into business in this region.

“In October, we will facilitate filming of sectors that our people in China can invest in here in Uasin Gishu County,” he added.

Agriculture, tourism, trade and industry are some of the sectors that are said to be fully exploited in North Rift. Elgeyo Marakwet’s hanging valley,for example, is a tourist attraction site and only needs cable cars.

Mr Xianfa appreciated that these sectors present big business opportunities. Uasin Gishu is the centre of Kenya’s breadbasket North Rift.

Cereal milling is among big opportunities as the North Rift region produces about 15 million and 6 million bags of maize and wheat annually.

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago, during a meeting with the Chinese envoy, also called on the Chinese government to consider setting up vehicle assembly companies in Eldoret.

“Eldoret is Kenya’s fastest growing town and is the logistical hub that connects five East African Countries,” Mandago said.

“It is for this reason this reason that we hope China sets up motor assembly here because there is market. Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Congo and Uganda will certainly be expansive markets,” said Mandago.

Already, China is venturing into textile technology as its Confucius Institute in Eldoret teams up with Rivatex East Africa Limited. Rivatex and Confucious Institute are spearheading production of cotton which is a raw material for textile industry.

Mr Xianfa also hinted out at plans by the Chinese people to further stretch business impact of the Standard Gauge Railway once it is completed.