Lodwar, 2nd September, 2021 (Governor’s Press Service)– Local enterprises in Kakuma and Kalobeyei are set to benefit from a business support initiative set to be rolled out later this month under the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Kakuma-Kalobeyei Challenge.

In a meeting with Governor Josphat Nanok at the County HQ today, IFC Program Manager KKCF Ms. Luba Shara said the programme will launch the Local Enterprise Development Window (LED) which targets local enterprises based in Turkana in Kakuma on September 14th.

She announced that applications will be received on a rolling basis every quarter and was targeting 100 host and refugee businesses which will receive between $15,000 to $50,000.  This is part of KKCF rolling business challenge meant to encourage SMEs to invest in high potential sectors in a bid to develop the economy of the area, create jobs and improve livelihoods of both refugees and local communities.

Governor Nanok urged KKCF to consider businesses willing to invest in sectors which will support the development of soon-to-be established Kakuma/Kalobeyei Municipality. He admitted that the implementation of the programme, which was launched in November 2020, had slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic but concurred that the local enterprise window will address residents’ concern and boost confidence.

On the Biashara/Huduma centre being constructed in Kakuma under a partnership with IFC and UNHCR, the Governor stated that the project will be the first of its kind in Kenya, and its success will be used to set up similar facilities elsewhere in the country. The centre will be a one stop-shop for residents seeking both National and County Government services.

He commended the partnership with World Bank and IFC to improve the business environment in Turkana adding that the support of the institutions was a welcome stamp of approval to give confidence to bigger private businesses ready to invest in the county.

Ms. Shara informed the Governor that IFC is also supporting the County Government to develop an Investment Promotion Bill. County Attorney Erastus Ethekon revealed that a stakeholders’ forum will be held to discuss the bill, as part of efforts to complete its drafting before its forwarded to the County Assembly for passage.

He commended IFC for its commitment and called for support to develop other regulations which will contribute to establishing a conducive environment for investment. On his part, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said development of major industries and innovations will provide exposure for local enterprises.

Senior County Government officials who participated in the discussion were County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executives Charles Lokiyoto (Trade), Emathe Namuar (Finance), Chief Officers Moses Natome (Water), James Lokwale (Acting-Trade) and Director of Urban Areas Management Victor Lekaram.

In the IFC delegation were Operations Officer Taneem Ahad, Consultant Felix Kariuki, AECF Director of Investments and Portfolio Sally Gitonga, AECF KKCF Project Manager William Kihara and IFC Liason Officer Turkana County, Peter Lolem. UN Delivery as One Coordinator Susan Aletia was also present.