Nyanza Investment Conference To Unlock Business Potential

Preparations for the inaugural Nyanza International Investment Conference are in top gear, with the organisers confident of securing pacts to unlock the region’s potential.

The conference, slated for June 28-29, targets to showcase investment opportunities in the six counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, and Nyamira with a view to attracting investors from around the world.

Organised by the Nyanza Professionals, the conference aims at securing public private partnerships (PPPs) between investors and the county governments in the region to spur economic growth in the area.

Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo said the conference to be held in Kisumu has the full backing of the government, with President Dr. William Ruto scheduled to officially open and make a key note address.

Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) and Principal Secretaries (PSs) from the various dockets where opportunities for investments have been identified, he said, will also particip
ate in the conference.

Speaking in Kisumu during a breakfast meeting for the event, Owalo lauded the Nyanza professionals for coming up with the initiative, saying it will go a long way in fast-tracking development in the area.

‘Development is all inclusive. It is not a prerogative of the national or county government. You have so many contacts out there which you need to leverage to support the development of this region,’ he said.

The government, he said, will continue to create an enabling environment for the business community and investors to tap into the region’s huge potential.

He pointed out the blue economy, which he said has a lot of potential, with the government already constructing a Sh3 billion aquaculture centre in Kisumu besides modernising fish landing sites along the lake to support the fishing community.

The Kenya Kwanza administration, he said, was focused on the completion of all stalled road projects in the area to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Nyanza Pro
fessionals Caucus Chairman Japh Olende said the team has developed a catalogue profiling top investment opportunities and projects for each of the six counties.

The projects, he said, cut across all the sectors, including, health, agriculture, tourism, mining, the blue economy, water and irrigation, infrastructure, and information and communication technology (ICT).

Olende, who signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) on hosting the event, urged local investors and the business community to register for the two-day conference in large numbers to make it a success.

He said that besides the panel discussions, there will also be exhibitions to showcase various projects and innovations.

KNCCI National Director Ken Onditi said the Chamber will rally its members to attend the conference and actively engage in the discourse.

The conference, he said, will be an opportunity for the business community to network and take up opportunities targeting a wide
r market.

‘We have had two investment conferences, one in Kisumu and another in Kakamega. However, this one is unique because it captures a wider market with four counties,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Alarm Over Low Uptake Of Credit

Principal Secretary of the State Department for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Susan Mangeni, has decried the low uptake of credit facilities across the country.

Speaking during the dissemination of the Fourth Medium-Term Plan in Busia town on Friday, Mangeni said that the uptake of devolved credit funds was extremely low in Busia County.

‘The Youth Fund has been around for almost 15 years, but if you look at the money which has been disbursed in Busia alone, it is less than Sh100 million,’ she said, adding that a total of Sh15 billion has been disbursed across the country.

Mangeni added that the Uwezo Fund, which has also been in place for around nine years, reflects dismally in Busia, with only Sh90 million disbursed.

She further said that the Hustler fund that has been implemented for the past one and a half years has seen Sh120 million disbursed in Teso South, Sh110 million to Teso North, Sh150 million to Matayos, Sh100 million to Butula, Sh100 million in Funyula, Sh70 million to Nambal
e, and Sh60 million to Bunyala Sub-counties.

‘The repayment rate is, however, good, with Teso South standing at 73 per cent, Teso North at 73 per cent, Matayos at 78 per cent, Funyula at 73 per cent, Nambale at 76 per cent, Butula at 73 per cent and Budalangi at 77 per cent,’ she said.

Mangeni stated that there are about 10,000 Kenyans who borrow at least Sh50,000 daily, and the government plans to ensure that they have access to more funds without providing title deeds because they have a good credit score.

‘We have to rally the residents of Busia to apply for these credit facilities,’ she told the Government Administration officers, adding that the move will help in eradicating poverty and ensuring equitable development across the County.

Mangeni thanked the County government for clearing the Busia-Korinda road, adding that investors will have an easy way of dualling the road to the One Stop Border Post facility.

The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Youth Affairs, and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, assured th
e residents that the government is committed to fulfilling all its campaign promises.

Namwamba added that the government had embarked on the construction of the Port Victoria Coastguard facility with a view to enhancing security along Lake Victoria and reducing harassment of Kenyan fishermen by the Ugandan authorities.

‘We will continue to remind people of what the government is doing at the grassroots level and push for more resources,’ he said.

He at the same time reminded government officers to be ambassadors of the Hustler Fund, explaining that it will save the local residents from exploitation by predatory lenders.

Besides, the CS also said that his Ministry has begun training coaches, referees, and technical people under a programme for Busia coaches and referees.

‘We have already given them certificates, and we want more people to come forward and be trained in this programme so that they can be agents of unleashing the sporting talent of our young people,’ Namwamba said.

Namwamba further said th
at his Ministry is keen on nurturing sports among the youth through the Talanta Hela programme.

He stated that the Ministry is targeting to establish three sports academies and an athletics training centre in Busia County.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Mombasa Stars Draw Against Kibera Black Stars

In their last National Super League (NSL) home match of the season, the Mombasa Stars drew 1-1 with the Kibera Black Stars at Serani Sports Ground on Saturday.

The home side, Mombasa Stars, opened the score in the first half with a penalty kick by Alfred Manigi.

However, the lead was short-lived as the Kibera Black Stars were also awarded a penalty, which was scored by Richard Bolo.

The referee’s decision to award the penalty sparked anger from the Mombasa Stars’ side, with Head Coach Mohammed Hussein ‘Madaga’ openly criticising the referee’s decision.

‘I expected a win for my team. The referee gave our opponents an undeserving penalty just to balance the game. It was a decision that cost us the three points we needed,’ said Coach Madaga after the match.

Kibera Black Stars’ coach, Edwin Lavatsa, expressed his frustration over missed opportunities by his players. Despite the equaliser, Lavatsa felt his team could have secured a victory through their performance.

‘We created several chances but failed to
convert them into goals. I feel like we lost two points today because we were not able to capitalise on our opportunities,’ Lavatsa said.

After the draw, Kibera Black Stars and Mombasa Stars are in the ninth and tenth positions, respectively.

Mombasa Stars now have three successive away games in the NSL league.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State Allocates Sh1.4bn For Construction Of Fishing Landing Sites

The government has set aside Sh1.4 billion for the construction of new fish landing sites to ensure the Coast region’s fishermen reap maximum benefit from fishing activities.

Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya says the fish landing sites will be constructed at Mokowe and Mtangawanda in Lamu County, as well as Kipini in Tana River County.

Other sites include Kichwa cha Kati, Ngomeni, and Kilifi Central in Kilifi County, and Kadongo in Mombasa County, while Kwale County will have one at Mwaepe in addition to another existing fish landing site at Mwandamo Beach Management Unit (BMU), which will be revamped.

Mvurya says the government is keen on ensuring that fishing is uplifted from a position where it was mostly regarded as a hobby to a level where it is an important investment that contributes to food security and also earns citizens a reasonable income.

‘That is why we are carrying out this important exercise of ensuring that we put in place the requisite infrastruct
ure from Lamu to Vanga to provide adequate and suitable facilities to preserve fish,’ stated Mvurya.

He spoke on Saturday when he presided over the National Celebrations to mark this year’s World Ocean Day that were held at the Mwandamo BMU fish landing site in Msambweni, Kwale County.

The CS also disclosed that the government is set to construct a Sh838 million Blue Economy Training Centre at Shimoni in Kwale County that will absorb trainees from both Kenya and a neighbouring country.

‘Those who want to venture into seaweed farming, those who want to learn about crab farming, or any other sea-related production, will have an opportunity to train,’ CS Mvurya said.

The Centre will be an additional facility to the Sh1.2 billion ultra-modern Regional Maritime Logistics Institute that the national government is constructing at Kombani in Kwale County.

He said a new project dubbed ‘Vijana na Baharia’ is in the pipeline and will be launched soon, where 600 youths will be trained free of charge on how to make l
ife jackets.

‘They will be making these life jackets for the ready market in the country. This will ensure we do not expend our foreign exchange on importing items that can be made locally,’ Mvurya observed.

In an effort to bolster the Coast region’s blue economy potential for the benefit of the residents, CS Mvurya said the government has procured 150 modern boats that will enable fishermen to venture into more profitable fishing.

He indicated that another 25 boats for deep-sea fishing will be purchased to enable the fishermen to go fishing further into the sea than they are doing now.

The CS encouraged the residents of Kwale to take advantage of the Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-Economic Development (KEMFSED) project implemented by the World Bank in conjunction with the Government of Kenya, which has already disbursed Sh1 billion.

‘In addition, we have around Sh2 billion in that fund. There are two more phases remaining, one set at approximately Sh1.2 billion and another at around Sh761 million. So your
group should prepare adequately so that you can benefit from this fund,’ Mvurya said.

Other efforts by the government to enhance the blue economy include the ongoing construction of a new fisheries port at a cost of Sh2.6 billion.

Mvurya called for concerted efforts to curb marine pollution and environmental destruction.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Menstrual Hygiene: Boy Child Asked To Support Girl Child

Molo Deputy County Commissioner, Ngura Mwamachi, has underscored the need for sensitization of the boy child about menstrual hygiene awareness to fight the stigma associated with menses.

Mr. Mwamachi noted that many girls shy away from socialising during their periods to avoid getting teased by boys, hence the need to educate the boy-child to have them empathise with and be understanding about their sisters’ physiological development.

‘It is crucial to also include boys in raising menstrual hygiene awareness to ensure girls do not feel ashamed of menstruation since it is a natural process,’ Mwamachi stated.

He observed that in most cases, girls opt to miss school during menstruation to avoid the embarrassment of being taunted by boys out of fear of staining their clothes, period pain, and becoming less interactive in class. He added that this should not be the case, but instead, the boys ought to play a supportive role by ensuring that the girls are comfortable under all circumstances.

‘Once the boys get
informed on what girls go through during their menses, they will turn out to be a great support to the girls, who will feel more comfortable during their menses,’ Mwamachi said.

The DCC was speaking at Molo during the distribution of 68,536 sanitary pads to 56 schools within the sub-county.

Present during the function was the area Sub-County Director of Education, Sylvester Musikoye, who encouraged girls to disclose when they are experiencing their periods to their parents or teachers to receive the necessary support, adding that they should not feel embarrassed about attending school during their periods.

He said that each pupil will receive eight packets of sanitary pads, each containing eight pieces, and thus will be well equipped to go on for several months during their periods.

This initiative has been done in collaboration with the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action to the tune of Sh876 million to benefit over two million girls in public primary, junior, and special schools nationwid

Source: Kenya News Agency

Murang’a MPs Pledge To Complete The Link Roads

Three legislators from Murang’a County have assured residents of the government’s commitment to complete the construction of Mau Mau Road.

Speaking on Saturday at Kanyenyaini Market during a public sensitization forum on triple threats, the MPs said Sh5 billion has been allocated in the 2024/2025 budget to fund the completion of the link road, which stalled two years ago.

Kangema Member of Parliament Peter Kihungi observed that after the contractors left the site, many sections of the road were rendered impassible, especially during rainy seasons.

He lamented that residents served by the road have been struggling to take their produce to markets and also access other parts of the county due to the poor state of the road.

Construction of Mau Mau Road, which was a flagship project of the Jubilee regime, stalled in 2022 after three contractors who were doing the work left the project, citing a delay in payments.

The link road, including tributaries, has a length of about 500 kilometres and connects four cou
nties, including Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, and Nyandarua.

The Sh30 billion road is intended to open up areas bordering Aberdare Forest and boost agricultural activities and eco-tourism in the areas the trunk road traverses.

‘During the past rainy season, most parts of the road were left impassable after the contractors excavated and left ditches and boulders along the road. We have approached the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Budget, Ndindi Nyoro who has allocated some funds to ensure the construction works proceed,’ added Kihungi.

By the beginning of the next financial year, the MP assured that the contractors will be back on site and requested that residents to be patient.

Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu said Mau Mau Road is a major project meant to boost economic activities in counties within the east and west of the Aberdare ranges.

He said that as Murang’a leaders, they will not give up on the push to ensure the road is completed in the next financial year.

‘The road was to be completed like o
ne year ago. We are negotiating with the concerned government agencies to ensure the road is done and serves the locals,’ added Nyutu.

Murang’a Woman Representative Betty Maina asked the residents to continue supporting the government, saying plans are underway to see the completion of stalled projects in the county.

Source: Kenya News Agency