In a bid to bolster economic growth and foster investment opportunities, the Council of Governors (COG) chair Anne Waiguru has underscored the significance of Kenya's counties as emerging hubs for investment.

Waiguru emphasized that these devolved units offer a plethora of untapped prospects across various sectors, making them the new frontier for investment in the country.

Addressing stakeholders at the opening ceremony of the Homabay County International Investment Conference (HOBIIC), Waiguru highlighted the concerted efforts undertaken by County Governments to create a conducive business environment.

She emphasized the unique opportunities each of the 47 counties presents and urged investors to collaborate with local authorities in exploring these untapped avenues.

Waiguru emphasized the commitment of County Governments to streamline processes for investors saying that to catalyze investment, counties are offering tax incentives, reducing bureaucracy, and simplifying the process of starting and running businesses in the devolved units.

Moreover, she urged the private sector to capitalize on Kenya's strategic positioning as a regional manufacturing hub.

She pointed out opportunities in County industrial parks, special economic zones, and exporting processing zones, which offer favourable conditions for investment.

The CoG Chair further highlighted the vast potential within counties for renewable energy and healthcare sectors.

She stressed the need for collaboration between investors and local authorities to tap into opportunities for clean energy production, establishment of modern medical facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and research partnerships.

In addition to economic prospects, Waiguru emphasized the significance of Kenya's rich biodiversity and landscapes in bolstering tourism.

She identified opportunities in eco-lodges, hospitality, and related tourism services, underscoring the country's appeal as a premier tourist destination.

Acknowledging the importance of infrastructure development in supporting economic growth, Waiguru stated, "Kenya's rapid urbanization requires substantial infrastructure development. Investment opportunities abound in the construction of essential infrastructure projects including establishment of industries and aggregation centres in the special economic zones."

Furthermore, Waiguru highlighted the adoption of digital technologies by County Governments to create an enabling environment for business.

She cited the implementation of online revenue management systems and digital land registries as examples of how counties are revolutionizing service delivery.

To address the need for skilled labour, Waiguru mentioned initiatives to provide youth with training in digital skills and the establishment of incubation hubs and mentorship programs to support startups and entrepreneurs.

The COG Chair reiterated that the Homa Bay conference serves as a blueprint for other counties to spur economic growth, emphasizing the alignment of County Governments with the national agenda to revitalize key sectors and foster inclusive economic growth.

Waiguru concluded by stressing the importance of establishing market linkages within identified value chains to catalyze transformative change and enhance economic resilience.

“By intensifying efforts to establish market linkages within their identified value chains, Counties can catalyze transformative change. This approach creates opportunities for local producers and entrepreneurs, reinforcing economic resilience and fostering inclusivity,” she stated. 

She also highlighted the significance of enhancing women's digital connectivity to improve their business performance and financial market access.

With counties prioritizing investment and economic development, Kenya stands poised to capitalize on its vast potential and pave the way for sustainable growth and prosperity.