Businesses already reaping big as governors event starts

Final touches in Eldoret as Uasin Gishu County prepares to host the devolution conference. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Traders are positioning themselves to make the most out of the eighth devolution conference.

Some distance from the Eldoret Sports Club, the main venue of the event, several eateries have been set up targeting hundreds of locals and visitors.

Willy Kenei, the Kenya National Chamber of  Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Uasin Gishu chairman, said the conference provides a great opportunity for the local business community.

“Business is thriving because of the ongoing conference in Eldoret. Traders have taken advantage to innovate means of gaining economic benefits from the Council of Governors (CoG) conference,” he said.

Kenei said the town has enough facilities to accommodate the visitors.

“Although most space in hospitality facilities had been booked, there is still room for accommodation, an indication that Eldoret town has expanded.”

He noted that prices for bed and breakfast booking had increased by about 75 per cent owing to the high demand.

Kenei lauded the decision to have the conference in Eldoret, noting that apart from hospitality facilities, other traders engaged in food production, decorations and branding, taxi and boda boda services and electronics, among others, are doing a booming business.

“As KNCCI, we are satisfied with the level of business. Over 90 traders and institutions, including KNCCI and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), are taking part in the exhibition of their services at the conference,” said Kenei.

Elijah Kosgei, the Uasin Gishu CEC for Public Service Management, Administration, and Devolved Units, said most visitors had, by Monday, taken up their hotel rooms in the Central Business District.

Kosgei said there were more inquiries on hotel facilities located in the outskirts of the town, pointing out that it was a great economic opportunity for the county.

“We expect business activities to thrive and benefit residents across the North Rift Economic Bloc during the entire period. The event has been organised well,” said Felix Mosonik, a local resident.

Mosonik said he expects President William Ruto to address youth unemployment when he officially opens the conference today.

Denis Chirchir, a youth from Kesses in Uasin Gishu, said the conference will provide a forum for Kenyans to reflect into achievements of devolution over the past decade.

“This conference will be ideal for business people to network, exchange ideas and exploit available advantages existing across the devolved units,” he said.