Laikipia to release economic indicators as it pitches to investors

Laikipia County Governor Nderitu Muriithi (second left) interacts with some of the investors attending county development opportunities forum in Nairobi on July 6, 2018.The forum is aimed at showcasing some of the county's investment opportunities in line with seeking new production and marketing strategies. [David Njaaga/Standard]

The county has unveiled an ambitious plan to attract more local and foreign investors.

The highlight of the plan is the inception of a data set containing key indicators on all sectors of the county’s economy.

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said investors needed quick access to data to make investment decisions.

“Next week, we will be launching the first of its kind updated statistical data so that as investors you have all the information that you can use to make decisions,” he said.

The governor spoke on Friday night at the inaugural County Development and Investment Opportunities forum he hosted in Nairobi over the weekend, where he made a strong case for region to both local and foreign investors.

Key among the agenda set for investors was an ambitious smart town project where 10 market centres will be upgraded into modern towns in the next three years.

The initiative entails improvement, lighting and naming of roads as well as establishing areas for expansion for schools and other social amenities.

Nanyuki, Wiyumiririe, Nyahururu, Ol Jabet, Rumuruti, Kinamba and Dol Dol are among towns earmarked for upgrading.

The plan focuses on technology, agribusiness, tourism and textiles.

The county also plans to start leasing out vehicles and equipment.

“This is Laikipia stepping out to the investing community to showcase the amazing opportunities for business and living,” said the Governor.

He pledged that the county would fight insecurity and perennial conflict between herders and ranchers and make it easier to set up business in the region.

This, he said, would be achieved through strengthening e-government, adopting a culture change and ensuring the right to life and property for all residents.

The county’s location puts it close to the country’s key projects such as the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) and the Northern Corridor, which, according to the governor, offered rich investment opportunities.

Statistical abstract

Deputy Governor John Mwaniki said that the statistical abstract would be released annually in partnership with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

“The importance of a statistical abstract for any economy is provision of data that will help you make investment decisions,” he said.

The availability of data, he said, would be an eye opener for the region’s vast investment potential.

“It contains, for example, county population, livestock numbers and number of schools and businesses. It means that as you come in to invest in Laikipia you are not investing on guesswork,” he added.