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By Eric Omwombo 

Siaya county leadership attended the International Investment Conference in Homabay where investment deals meant to benefit Siaya were negotiated.

The forum that attracted international investors keen on promoting agriculture and the blue economy saw Siaya leaders enlightening private partners on investment opportunities in the region.

Armed with facts and figures, the technical government officials were busy persuading investors to consider Siaya as investment grounds.

Siaya Governor James Orengo who was among those who attended the conference could be seen interacting with key partners and exchanging contacts for further follow-ups.

“The idea for the investment conference is good. It provides a platform for counties to showcase their investment opportunities and negotiate with potential investors,” said Orengo.

“This is a great opportunity for us as Siaya people to negotiate for investment deals that if goes through will help transform Siaya in a big way,” he added.

Siaya is one of the counties that was not favoured by the previous regime in terms of the creation of industries and so it’s such initiatives that can encourage its growth.

“Am happy that we have installed a KES 60 million rice mill project at Siriwo that will now encourage expansive production of rice in Siaya,” said Orengo.

He added that their meeting with multi-billion Indian rice investors last week was a fruitful one.

“We held a fruitful discussion with a team of investors from India keen on investing in Agriculture their forte is rice production.
Siaya county government has launched an upgrade of certain town roads to better standards so that investors have an easy time transporting their goods.”

The County Department of Roads spent KES 125 million in upgrading, the Ugunja market ring road, Yala Hospital and Rabango Junction-SDA-Siaya Referral Hospital roads in this financial year.

Blue economy, gold prospecting, sand harvesting, cotton, hotel industry, rice production, sugar production are areas ripe for potential investments

Blue economy, Gold prospecting, Sand harvesting, cotton, hotel industry, rice production, Sugar production are areas ripe for potential investments.

The upgrade of Ugunja and Yala town ring roads to bitumen standards forms part of Orengo administration’s bold strategic urbanization agenda of developing Siaya’s urban towns to make them inclusive and friendly to all.

This will in turn spur the County’s sustainable socioeconomic growth through strategic investments, increased productivity and innovations. The upgrade of the major towns’ infrastructures comes a few months after Siaya, Bondo and Ugunja acquired municipality charters.

According to Siaya County Secretary Joseph Ogutu, Siaya will also host a similar event.

County offers variety of business incentives 

The County is huge and there are enough investment opportunities to go around.
Siaya is home to an abundance of support services for new and expanding businesses whether you are seeking business planning advice, financing assistance or business networking opportunities.

Siaya County offers a variety of business incentives. There are great investment opportunities and one of them is fisheries or blue economy which Orengo seeks to invest in as an engine of growth for Siaya.

The growth and prosperity of the devolved unit are anchored on the Blue Economy and Agriculture.

The 2010 statistics collated from 69 beaches show that Siaya had a total catch of 9000 tons valued at KES 836 million but currently,
due to the proximity of Siaya to Kisumu International Airport, the County will be able to export fish and its products abroad. To facilitate this, access roads to the beaches are enhanced and the County will improve on the landing sites to enable faster produce delivery to the market.

Areas slated for improvement- upgrading the current high-output landing sites into cooling plants and fish auction centers. Establishing cage farming sites along Lake Victoria. Establishing modern boat and fish machinery building plants.

Currently, Siaya is surviving with a KES 150 million fish plant at Luanda K’Otieno and it’s yet to be handed over to a strategic partner to operate it.

The County Government will identify and provide land for development, offer tax incentives and provide a secure environment that will assist potential investors in the fisheries industries.

Tourism destination 

In tourism, Siaya is keen on playing a critical role in the Western Kenya tourism circuit that connects Kisumu, Vihiga, Busia, Homabay and Migori counties.

The County is endowed with rich cultures, notable geographical features include Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest fresh water lake, Lake Kanyaboli-the second-largest  oxbow lake in Africa, numerous islands such as Ndeda, Mageta, and Mountainous ranges like Got Ramogi and Got Abiero.

The K’Ogello Cultural Center and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Mausoleum are among the heritage sites that attract tourists to the region. Investments in the hotel industry have been robust in towns like Bondo and Siaya with excellent facilities that provide accommodation and food.

The County is seeking to improve the current bed capacity rates by establishing beach tourism.

Siaya also has abundant natural resources. It experiences excellent weather conditions for exploring and developing renewable energy ventures. From carbon trading to solar and wind energy.

Yala and Nzoia are the main rivers that crisscross the County and provide water and irrigation opportunities.

It’s critical that these resources could be tapped to provide hydroelectric power.

The Dominion Farms in Yala Swamp had established investments in the sector and more entrants will increase the contribution of the County to the National grid.

Gold, sand and stone harvesting

The County is endowed with gold deposits, sand and stone sites which have remained under-tapped for years. The government is ready to partner with organizations interested in gold prospecting within the County.

 

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