An estimated 10,000 new jobs are to be created in Nandi County after the devolved unit signed an agreement with the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) to establish new industries.
New investors have indicated willingness to pump their money into the devolved unit, a move that is expected to create jobs.
The agreement between EPZA and the county government would allow for the setting up of industries at the Chemelil-Chemase ward at the common boundary between Nyanza and Rift Valley.
According to Dr Kiplimo Lagat, the Nandi County Trade Executive, the county has allocated 600 acres of land in Chemase for the EPZ projects.
“We expect more than 10,000 new jobs to be created after the Nandi County government signed an agreement with the EPZA to give 600 acres of land to invest in various industries such as cottage,” he said.
The official explained more new investors have contacted the county to allocate them land and issue them with land title deeds for setting up of the various investments.
Dr Lagat said over 100 new investors have applied to invest in the county adding that the high unemployment rates facing youths who have completed colleges is expected to decline once they begin putting up various industries.
He added for many years, Nandi relied on tea industry for employment of local residents adding that devolution came with new opportunities for investments and expansion of businesses.
The EPZA chairman Abdikadir Abdulla and County Governor Stephen Sang agreed on the location for the industries saying it’s suitable due to its proximity to Kisumu International Airport.
“Nandi being an agricultural county is looking for investors in agribusiness to ensure maximum profits are realised from the tea, sugarcane, maize, coffee and the dairy sectors ,” said the governor.
Mr Sang added the county will also introduce new non agriculture based industries including the textile, oil, soap making, culture related industries and the leather industry which have not been exploited in the region in the past.
The governor said they want to take advantage of the Eldoret and Kisumu international airports’ to access export markets for horticultural crops.
Mr Sang said it’s because of availability to a viable economic market that Nandi is moving towards the Lake Region Counties Economic Bloc.
The EPZA chairman Mr Abdulla reiterated the move to sign an agreement to set up an EPZ in Nandi was informed by a mutual aim between the county and the authority to spur economic growth and open up investor opportunities.
“Counties need to embrace partnerships that will encourage investors to carry out high capital ventures for the sake of improving their respective economies,” he added.
He listed the Athi-River Zone which is the Authority’s headquarters as an example of a successful establishment that had attracted new investments from over 40 companies.
Some of the counties which have allowed the EPZ investments to boost its earnings and more jobs are Busia, Mombasa, Samburu and Trans-Nzoia.
The county government urged the national government to improve infrastructure along the zone including the Kisumu and Eldoret Airports.
The county leaders called for the improvement of rail infrastructures that link Kisumu County, Nandi, Kericho, Nakuru,Nairobi and Mombasa counties to ease access.