Machakos County has developed an investment promotion body to woo both foreign and local investors while safeguarding the interests of its residents. “Apart from going for the investors, telling them why they should invest in the county and giving them incentives, the county will also monitor the process to ensure the interests of the locals are protected,” says Machakos Investment Promotion Board (MIPB) Chief Executive Officer Kim Musau.
The board has launched the investment portal www.machakosinvest.com to reach to maximise on its outreach and according to Mr Musau, will organise trade exhibitions both at home and abroad. The portal was established through a partnership with the World Bank’s finance arm, the International Finance Corporation. “Our strategy is simple to show the world trade opportunities so that investors can take advantage of our current trade investment opportunities to capitalise on returns,” says Mr Musau, a financial and management expert. .
“The county has amicable investment opportunities that have been identified and all will be detailed on an online Promotional and facilitation Portal to further the Machakos county government investment development agenda,” he adds.
The board is the first county promotional agency to be established in the country to promote, attract, encourage, facilitate and support investment from domestic and international players.To achieve her goals, the county is capitalising on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) investment model to developed roads, build medical facilities, provide security as well as improve power supply.
“There are players in this segment of the economy that we bring on board to put in place these facilities so that they can be operational before the big city (New Machakos City) takes off,” says Musau, adding, “KPLC has for instance already put in place two substations and more activities are taking place.”
The CEO says that the board will provide business cooperation and business start-up services, information on local investment within the institutional framework, assist in local customs and laws, assist in getting permits and licenses on national and local levels. It has also been mandated to develop specific strategies for specific sectors and investors, assist in the location of Greenfield and site options according to specific requirements, maintain an investment database and facilitate investment incentives, promote business ventures by connecting local companies with foreign investors and provide initiatives while supporting cooperation with domestic supplier companies and other local partners.
On the availability of land for investment, the CEO says: “We are following on the laid down rules and within six months after the Land commission awards leases and the entrepreneurs have not invested then its reverted back to the county according to the agreement rules.”
The CEO says that the MIPB investment platform is centered on three vivid pillars; Economic Development, social Pillar and governance to grow the region’s economic base. In addition, the investment strategy is to increase the household income at the local level and introduce the county to the rest of the world. “The already existing labour intensive industries are a proof of favorable business environment in the county. Our investors can are assured of vast land and a supply of skilled labour and reliable infrastructure as incentives. It also plays to our favour that the county is also strategically located near Nairobi city, an airport, and the Konza Techno city.”
The county’s major sectors of focus include manufacturing; tourism, agribusiness, ICT and infrastructure development, Energy and Mining.The upcoming New Machakos City, which is designed to be a first class modern metropolis eco-friendly, trade and tourism centre further, provides enormous business ventures for potential investors.
“Within an overarching strategy for improving the investment environment in Machakos County, MIPB is at the same time enhancing its contribution to national economic development as per vision 2030 objectives,” says the CEO.