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By Eric Omwombo 

The leadership of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the East African region have embarked on expansive consultations to decide which Country to host the 24th SME’s trade fair after being notified that Southern Sudan which was proposed to play host would be going elections the same year.

According to the Chairman of Siaya County Jua-kali Associations Francis Obwanda, we were held up in a meeting to discuss the next country to host the trade fair after it was established that it would be risky if Southern Sudan hosts it in their year of elections.

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Obwanda said they were negotiating for Kenya to host the event and we are of the idea that Kisumu County play host though the presence of governors from Uasin Gishu Jonathan Bii and Kericho(Eric Kipkoech at the 23rd trades fair may tilt the idea.

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“Playing host to Jua-kali trade fairs comes with lucrative businesses since the Rast African Community engaged in the businesses will pitch a tent for 10 days in a particular country and that would contribute huge revenues”, said Obwanda.

Obwanda noted that hotels get booked, and owners of the restaurants make a kill out of the events even as businesses of changing monetary currencies thrive hence boosting the regional economy.

So talks to decide on a country to host trade fair have kicked off and it would be known before Friday, the day that the 23rd Jua-kali Nguvu trade fair would be closed.
“We are optimistic that the event will be hosted in Kenya and specifically in Kisumu City,” he added.

Obwanda said under his leadership, Jua-kali artisans from Siaya have not only benefitted from trips to showcase their items but have seen their products attracting clients and winning recognition in the East African region.

Last year while the exhibition trade fair was in Uganda, Siaya Jua-kali was ranked top best following its quality products and high technologies used.

“Some of the items were purchased by Ugandan government officials and this year, our people who showcased quality crafts, modern jikos, foldable stools, Chairs, and Table cub shelves are smiling back home with thousands of Burundis franca thousands in their pockets.
Obwanda appreciated the county government of Siaya and its leadership for supporting Jua-kali artisans to showcase their products in East African countries.

“We thank Siaya governor James Orengo and Enterprises leadership Led by Grace Angola, chief officer Michael Oliech and Director Chris Owang’ for their great support that has seen Jua-kali items gaining grounds in EAC regions” he added.

The ongoing Bujumbura Jua-kali trade that attracted 7 countries from the EAC region has seen Siaya artisans making profits.
Foldable stools whose market price is Sh 600 in Kenya sold at Sh 1500 while two modern jikos were sold at Sh 50, 000.
“The shelf cum table item was sold at Sh 15,000”.

According to Protus Otieno, Jua-kali artisans from Siaya, the Burundi market is not bad. At first, we thought we wouldn’t sell our items due to the low turnout of clients and on learning that clients throng the venue from 6 P.m., we managed to sell the items on Monday.

Though some people are taking photos of some of the items to produce they will not understand the technology behind them.

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