Government bets on County Industrial Parks to grow economy

President William Ruto with Industry PS Dr Juma Mukhwana. [Courtesy, Ministry of Trade]

The national government has engaged County Governments to establish the creation of County Aggregation Industrial Parks (CAIPS).

The government bets that CAIPS will help grow industrialization, middle income to provide quality of life to all Kenyans by 2030 in a clean and secure environment.

The government, through the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry (MITI) and Council of Governors (COG), chose to start CAIPS in line with the bottom-up economic transformation agenda.

President William Ruto described County Industrial Parks as valuable for investment and magnets of technology that drive production.

Ruto said he is committed to work with the counties and other partners to accelerate delivery of such parks across the country to promote investment, create employment and they will boost exports.

He was addressing Governors, Top Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry Executives and Development Partners on promotion of Trade, strengthening of market linkages and, the establishment of Aggregation and Industrial Parks in the Counties.

COG and State Department for Industry, on behalf of Busia, Embu, Garissa, Homa Bay, Kirinyaga, Meru, Mombasa, Murang’a, Nakuru, Nandi, Nyamira, Siaya, Uasin Gishu and Migori counties, have sent out bids for the construction CAIPS in respective Counties.

The government pledged to Sh250 million to each county which shall be matched with a similar amount or more by the respective counties.

COG pledged to match the figure with an equal amount or more, besides providing a minimum of 100 acres of land for the establishment of the Parks.

Trade CS Hon Moses Kuria led some of the governors on a study tour for some of the private sector models of aggregation and export centers to get a deeper understanding of how industrial parks work.

He said the Government was putting up aggregation and industrial parks in every county so that it’s not only the big people who play in this field but the hustlers and the MSMEs.

COG chairperson Anne Waiguru said they had gained invaluable insights on the potential of industrial parks and adoption of tech to drive economic growth on their tour of Tatu City, Twiga foods industries and Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).

“This benefits our agenda of trade promotion, market linkage and development of aggregation centers and industrial parks in counties,” she said.

According to Industry PS Dr Juma Mukhwana, CAIPs are a farmer centric and export-oriented approach that ensure small scale farmers and producers contribute to the aggregation, marketing and export of produce from across the country.

Mukhwana who was addressing a joint meeting between senior staff in the State Department for Industry, The National Treasury and the Council of Governors said CAIPs will boost overall national Argoprocessing and increase farmer Income. 

He added that it will also create jobs, reduce post-harvest loss, connect counties through Commodity Exchange (KOMEX) and Warehouse Receipting.

The PS said that the government had earmarked Sh4.5 Billion for the above counties which had shown readiness to pioneer construction of CAIPs under phase I.

He said the sheds will be equipped with common three-phase electricity, water, effluent management, internet, security and common transport.

Once the parks are constructed the government has agreed with Equity Bank who have promised Sh250 billion to support the purchase of manufacturing equipment for industries willing to invest in the parks.

Through a support project being implemented through the State Department for Industry dubbed ‘Viwanda Mashinani’, the government is also establishing a fund to give Micro, small and Medium Enterprises and young people equipment worth Sh6 million each to commence manufacturing activities.

COG Trade and Industrialization chairperson and Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti said she looked forward to increased capacity of the Counties to establish and develop profitable industrial enterprises which will in turn create more job opportunities for Kenyan people and grow local economies.

The programme has attracted many partners and potential investors including Afro-Exim Bank, Equity Bank, Trade Mark East Africa, DHL, Tatu City, KNTC, Twiga Foods and KIRDI.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will provide technical assistance.

The establishment of the 47 CAIPS will ensure aggregation of farm products and their direct sale to markets in and outside the country through a network of international logistics companies.

The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry will additionally set up agro-processing and value addition cottage industries in the counties that will spur local economic growth and make farming lucrative as a job creating mechanism.