Featured

County Assembly approves Bill to attract investors, spur economic growth

The Bill, according to the County Investment Secretary, provides for the creation of a one-stop shop, where potential investors access all the information they need without being shunted from one office to the other

The Kajiado County Assembly recently passed a Bill that will make the county an attractive destination for investors.

The County Investment Authority Bill 2021, is now awaiting assent from Governor Joseph ole Lenku so that it can be taken to the Government Printer.

Among other things, when the Bill finally becomes operational, the county will be able to realise its full potential, thereby setting it on a path of unprecedented economic growth.

Joel Roimen, the Investment Secretary, told Kajiado Star that the Bill has been four years in the making.

“In 2017 I sat down with the governor and we agreed that Kajiado needed to develop a proper policy framework that would guide how investments, both public and private, need to be conducted,” he explained.

Ease of doing business would be the catalyst for attracting investors in the county.

The Bill, explains Roimen, provides for the creation of a one-stop shop, where potential investors access all the information they need without being shunted from one office to the other.

“Today, a trader will, for example, visit almost 10 different offices, to get one Single Business Permit, which makes us uncompetitive,” he says adding that the Bill will go a long way in curing such ills.

He explains that with the right investment framework, Kajiado would, for example be in a position to negotiate cheaper Electricity tariffs, through Ketraco, which distributes power generated from Kipeto and Ngong.

Cheaper energy, he explains, brings down the cost of production, which in turn translates into better returns for business entities within the county.

Neighbouring counties like Narok and Nakuru, make a higher contribution, to the National GDP, than that of Kajiado, meaning that the two counties get substantially higher allocations from the national government.

According to the Investment Secretary, while Kajiado contributes 1.5 per cent, Narok contributes 2.5 per cent. Nakuru County, on the other hand, contributes 13 per cent.

This situation, he says, can change for the better should Kajiado County lives up to its massive potential, and this can only happen if more investors are incentivized to set up shop here.

The proposed Investment Authority is a semi-autonomous body comprised of a CEO and an executive committee made up of 10 CECs.

The Investment Authority, once formed, shall be headed by a managing director, who must possess a degree in business, accounting, finance or any other related field from a recognised university.

The managing director shall be appointed by the Kajiado County Public Service Board.

Apart from the managing director, the Authority shall have a non-executive chairperson who shall be appointed by the governor.

According to the Bill, the Investment Authority shall prepare at least a ten-year investment promotion strategy, that should, among other things, provide sources of investment capital, investment opportunities and estimates cost of such investments.

It shall also be required to provide and disseminate up-to-date information on incentives available to investors.

The Authority be able to establish relationships between Kajiado County and other counties as well as the national government, where investment matters are concerned.

With a proper investment framework, Kajiado would effectively be able to borrow externally, so as to fill budgetary gaps. “The ability to borrow externally is informed by a county’s credit rating. That way, a county is able to issue a county or even a municipal bond that would then attract funding from local and even international markets,” says Roimen.

In Kenya only four counties have put in place measures to enable them borrow funds from outside. They are Kisumu, Laikipia, Kakamega and Mombasa.

With the Authority in place, small and medium enterprises would be boosted, whereby the county would be able to move from a situation where only 25 per cent of such businesses succeed.

Kajiado is known for its culture yet, as Roimen explains, it is not packaged and exploited to the advantage of the people in the county.

“Why would our women make a piece of shanga, say, for sh100 and then sell it for sh80? We need to help them sell their products at a profit,” he says. “We also need to teach them financial management, so that their earnings can be sustainable.”

There is also the need to patent these designs so that people who copy them pay royalty.

Value addition is another major component of the Investment Bill, once it becomes operationalized.

Right from agriculture to mining, there are many products that come out of Kajiado in raw form, only to be brought back to the county, having benefited from value addition and sold expensively to the locals.

Roimen gives the example of iron ore which is mined in sections of Ilbisil and Mile 46. “The iron ore, once extracted from Kajiado, is taken to Athi River to be processed into steel products. The same steel products are sold here in Kajiado for use in the construction industry,” he says.

The Authority would encourage investors to put up processing plants in Kajiado, where locals would benefit from employment opportunities.

The economy of the county would be boosted, which means that Kajiado’s contribution to the country’s GDP would increase, leading to more allocations from the national government.

Locals, including farmers would also be encouraged to set up cottage industries to add value to locally produced goods.

And speaking of value addition, there are instances where Kajiado would take advantage existing economic arrangements with neighbouring counties to push the same agenda. Roimen gave the example of the leather industry in Narok, which would benefit from hides and skins from slaughterhouses in Kajiado.

The existing Narok Kajiado Economic Block would be the vehicle that brings back value to hides and skins, which are currently almost valueless in Kajiado.

The bill would also change the way investors conduct their business in Kajiado.

“We would for example move from the now much abused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to Corporate Social Investment, where investors would be incentivized to give shares in their companies instead of annual permits or cess,” explains Roimen.

“That way we would remove some of the ambiguities that come with CSR.”

For the Bill to come to fruition, it involved public participation, where concerns of the people were aired. Chief among those concerns is spartial planning. According to the Bill, allocation of land shall be subject to payment of appropriate land rates by the investor.

It is important to note that while the Authority shall be independent, it shall be reporting and will be answerable to the governor and not any other department of the county.

County Assembly approves Bill to attract investors, spur economic growth

The Bill, according to the County Investment Secretary, provides for the creation of a one-stop shop, where potential investors access all the information they need without being shunted from one office to the other

The Kajiado County Assembly recently passed a Bill that will make the county an attractive destination for investors.

The County Investment Authority Bill 2021, is now awaiting assent from Governor Joseph ole Lenku so that it can be taken to the Government Printer.

Among other things, when the Bill finally becomes operational, the county will be able to realise its full potential, thereby setting it on a path of unprecedented economic growth.

John Roimen, the Investment Secretary, told Kajiado Star that the Bill has been four years in the making.

“In 2017 I sat down with the governor and we agreed that Kajiado needed to develop a proper policy framework that would guide how investments, both public and private, need to be conducted,” he explained.

Ease of doing business would be the catalyst for attracting investors in the county.

The Bill, explains Roimen, provides for the creation of a one-stop shop, where potential investors access all the information they need without being shunted from one office to the other.

“Today, a trader will, for example, visit almost 10 different offices, to get one Single Business Permit, which makes us uncompetitive,” he says adding that the Bill will go a long way in curing such ills.

He explains that with the right investment framework, Kajiado would, for example be in a position to negotiate cheaper Electricity tariffs, through Ketraco, which distributes power generated from Kipeto and Ngong.

Cheaper energy, he explains, brings down the cost of production, which in turn translates into better returns for business entities within the county.

Neighbouring counties like Narok and Nakuru, make a higher contribution, to the National GDP, than that of Kajiado, meaning that the two counties get substantially higher allocations from the national government.

According to the Investment Secretary, while Kajiado contributes 1.5 per cent, Narok contributes 2.5 per cent. Nakuru County, on the other hand, contributes 13 per cent.

This situation, he says, can change for the better should Kajiado County lives up to its massive potential, and this can only happen if more investors are incentivized to set up shop here.

The proposed Investment Authority is a semi-autonomous body comprised of a CEO and an executive committee made up of 10 CECs.

The Investment Authority, once formed, shall be headed by a managing director, who must possess a degree in business, accounting, finance or any other related field from a recognised university.

The managing director shall be appointed by the Kajiado County Public Service Board.

Apart from the managing director, the Authority shall have a non-executive chairperson who shall be appointed by the governor.

According to the Bill, the Investment Authority shall prepare at least a ten-year investment promotion strategy, that should, among other things, provide sources of investment capital, investment opportunities and estimates cost of such investments.

It shall also be required to provide and disseminate up-to-date information on incentives available to investors.

The Authority be able to establish relationships between Kajiado County and other counties as well as the national government, where investment matters are concerned.

With a proper investment framework, Kajiado would effectively be able to borrow externally, so as to fill budgetary gaps. “The ability to borrow externally is informed by a county’s credit rating. That way, a county is able to issue a county or even a municipal bond that would then attract funding from local and even international markets,” says Roimen.

In Kenya only four counties have put in place measures to enable them borrow funds from outside. They are Kisumu, Laikipia, Kakamega and Mombasa.

With the Authority in place, small and medium enterprises would be boosted, whereby the county would be able to move from a situation where only 25 per cent of such businesses succeed.

Kajiado is known for its culture yet, as Roimen explains, it is not packaged and exploited to the advantage of the people in the county.

“Why would our women make a piece of shanga, say, for sh100 and then sell it for sh80? We need to help them sell their products at a profit,” he says. “We also need to teach them financial management, so that their earnings can be sustainable.”

There is also the need to patent these designs so that people who copy them pay royalty.

Value addition is another major component of the Investment Bill, once it becomes operationalized.

Right from agriculture to mining, there are many products that come out of Kajiado in raw form, only to be brought back to the county, having benefited from value addition and sold expensively to the locals.

Roimen gives the example of iron ore which is mined in sections of Ilbisil and Mile 46. “The iron ore, once extracted from Kajiado, is taken to Athi River to be processed into steel products. The same steel products are sold here in Kajiado for use in the construction industry,” he says.

The Authority would encourage investors to put up processing plants in Kajiado, where locals would benefit from employment opportunities.

The economy of the county would be boosted, which means that Kajiado’s contribution to the country’s GDP would increase, leading to more allocations from the national government.

Locals, including farmers would also be encouraged to set up cottage industries to add value to locally produced goods.

And speaking of value addition, there are instances where Kajiado would take advantage existing economic arrangements with neighbouring counties to push the same agenda. Roimen gave the example of the leather industry in Narok, which would benefit from hides and skins from slaughterhouses in Kajiado.

The existing Narok Kajiado Economic Block would be the vehicle that brings back value to hides and skins, which are currently almost valueless in Kajiado.

The bill would also change the way investors conduct their business in Kajiado.

“We would for example move from the now much abused Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to Corporate Social Responsibility, where investors would be incentivized to give shares in their companies instead of annual permits or cess,” explains Roimen.

“That way we would remove some of the ambiguities that come with CSR.”

For the Bill to come to fruition, it involved public participation, where concerns of the people were aired. Chief among those concerns is spartial planning. According to the Bill, allocation of land shall be subject to payment of appropriate land rates by the investor.

It is important to note that while the Authority shall be independent, it shall be reporting and will be answerable to the governor and not any other department of the county.

Related posts

Youth agenda was sacrificed at the altar of greed, patronage

Kajiado Star Editor

Ngong hospital converted to Covid-19 treatment facility

Kajiado Star Editor

Paul Kosencha: the passing of a Maa icon

Kajiado Star Editor