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Kiambu County Regional Business Agenda Revealed.

Kiambu business community is challenging the county government to scale up its endeavours to implement the county integrated development plan if at all any meaningful change is to be realised.

In an exclusive interview with Thika Town Today, Kiambu Regional Business Coalition (KRBC) Chairman Mr. Alfred Wanyoike said that the promise of better service delivery to the people of Kiambu County and the private sector was paramount. Kiambu Government therefore needed to involve and interact more with the masses so as to enhance the process of identifying and solving urgent issues and fast track development in the county.

“Businesses are the main actors in mobilising and distributing wealth and resources in the county. They generate income for the public by paying rates and taxes and creating jobs for the unemployed. They are also magnets for investment. Their ideas and input in running the affairs of the county is very vital,” said Wanyoike.

Mr. Wanyoike noted that businesses tended to form around key economic activities in a region thus, during its planning phase, it was prudent for the county government to lay more emphasis on priority areas that the business community felt were of utmost importance.

In Kiambu for instance, the sectors that were key to industrial and commercial growth included Agriculture, Manufacturing, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE), Education and the County Expenditure on Priority areas.

In Agriculture, KRBC had advised the county to invest more in dairy, poultry, fish, coffee, tea, macadamia, pineapple farming etc by developing policies that empowered the small-scale farmers and enhanced trade to the large-scale farmers.

“Agriculture is the backbone of the Kiambu economy. The county should therefore lay much emphasis in getting good markets for the farmer’s produce. They could do this by collecting and marketing the produce on behalf of the farmers just as Murang’a County is doing. The county should also encourage value addition to each and every product so that agricultural products are not sold raw,” he said.

For the MSEs and large-scale traders, the Kiambu business community argued that infrastructure played the biggest role in their success. The county government needed to improve on the existing roads and construct new ones to ease mobility. They suggested that more street lighting be put up in all trading centres to check insecurity.

The coalition called on the county government to check on the kind of mistrust that existed in Kiambu Biashara Fund so that a good working relationship could be established. They county too needed to market products from jua kali artisans and other micro and small enterprises as the continued imparting technical knowhow through vocational training and polytechnics.

KRBC further suggested that the county does away with the Single Business Permits and rather come up with Single Trade Licences that covered everything to do with that business.

“These licences should cover all fees and charges required by the county and national government and all other county governments to avoid multiplication of fees and charges. They too should consider the trade volumes and areas covered,” said Wanyoike.

On land for investment, Wanyoike said that KRBC had suggested that the county government to partner with the national government in order to streamline land policy for investment. The renewal of land leases was a major cause of concern for investors, he added.

On matters education, the county needed to re-look on the increase in fees and charges to private schools. He said that as an organization that worked to enhance business growth within the county, they had realized that overcharging these schools led to evasion.

KRBC called for the establishment of a good working relationship with both the county government and the creation of a good business environment where the cost of doing business was reduced.

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