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Why Laikipia is a strategic economic county


Laikipia is a strategic investment and settlement county that is attracting investors from various countries. The natural beauty, Security, investment opportunities, land and cheap labour, some of them not found in many parts of the country, make Laikipia more attractive.


Devolution, system of government introduced in Kenya under the 2010 Constitution, divided the country into 47 counties each with its own government and county assembly. One of these counties is Laikipia.


The county, in the slopes of Mt Kenya, is 9,462 km2, with a population of over 400,000. It borders Samburu County to the North, Isiolo to the Northeast, Meru and Nyeri to the South, Nyandarua and Nakuru to the Southwest, and Baringo to the west.
Nanyuki, the county headquarters, is 200Kms from Nairobi City, on the northwest of Mount Kenya.


The county has five towns – Nyahururu, Rumuruti and Kinamba in the west, Nanyuki in the east, and Doldol in the north – and group ranches occupy half of it.

Laikipia is home to many Europeans, some owning or managing the leading ranches. Indeed, a number of the large-scale farmers kicked out of Zimbabwe leave here.

“This is a peaceful, prosperous model county open to all human races to live in and do business,” the Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said. “White farmers are included in all the boards managing the various sectors in the county. The doctrine of exclusion based on race or religion does not apply in Laikipia,” he added.


Kuki Gallman, born in Italy, now a Kenyan citizen, has lived in Kenya for over 30 years. Gallman owns the Ol Ari Nyiro Ranch of over 100,000 acres. The ranch holds the largest stock of black rhinos outside the protected areas.
Investment Opportunities

The Kenya Commission for Revenue Allocation ranked Laikipia the 5th potential county, out of 47, in terms of resources and attractiveness to investors.


Tourism, ICT, agriculture, transport and infrastructure, manufacturing, communications, power generation, such as solar, wind, Electricity, and bio-fuel are some of lucrative ventures lucking in the county.

Agro-industries – cereals milling, meat and fruits processing, including hides and skins – top the list.

According to the Governor Irungu, Laikipia has the best beef and the Kenya Meat Commission uses it to blend its beef for the export.

Based on the 2009 population census, the county had 189,685 heads of cattle and 623,648 sheep and goats.



Laikipia is an economic strategic county in line with the Kenya’s Vision 2030. The LAPSSET – Lamu to South Sudan Standard Railway Gauge (SRG) will pass through the county. The Great North Road linking the rest of the country with the northern Kenya also passes here.

The proposed Isiolo Resort City, with an international airport, is 75Kms from Nanyuki Town.

“We have plaint of land, friendly people and enough labour force and supportive government. Laikipia is a cosmopolitan county and all the people here a settlers from various parts of Kenya, Europe, Asia, America and other parts of Africa,” The Laikipia Chairperson of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industries,  Francis Gitonga, said.

“The county government support willing investors, through allocation or identification of appropriate land for any project in the county. It also assists to ensure the investors get the required documents and licences,” the County Minister for Trade Tourism, Co-operatives and Industrialisation, Jane Putunoi, said.

Tourism Attractions
 
Laikipia is ranked fourth of the six best destinations in Africa and 19 out of 52 in the world, according to the York Times 2014 report, ‘52 Places to Go in 2014’.


It comes after Cape Town in South Africa, Namibia, and Addis-Ababa in Ethiopia. The Seychelles, and Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania, follow in the fifth and sixth positions respectively.



Some of tourism attractions in the county include the Mount Kenya, Ole Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, where three of the four remaining northern white rhinos in the world are found. Thompson Falls in Nyahururu, and Sior view point at Mugokodo forest.
The scenery and cultural features of Maasai, Pokot and Sumburu dancers, the Masaai Warriors’ Cricket team, and the Il Polei women cultural centre, summarise the beauty.


The remnants of Yaaku tribe are also an attraction to tourists, researchers and historians who what to learn more about the extinct tribe.


The Yaaku were hunter-gatherer and beekeepers that lived in caves, but they later lost their identity to the Maasai tribe. The tribe is now extinct and about 10 people speak the language.


The county has the largest population of elephants, second after the Tsavo National Park. The county has the largest stock of wildlife outside the gazetted protected areas. Most of the wildlife is found in private and group ranches.

Laikipia has never experience terrorism treat, perhaps due to high presence of the military. Nanyuki hosts the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), in addition to The Kenya Air Force Base. The forces make Laikipia a no-go zone for terrorists.

Challenges

The agricultural sector faces challenges, such as lack of agro-industries, mechanised farming and dependence on rain. Cattle rustling are also common. The Pokot, Samburu and Turkana Tribesmen steal livestock from the local farmers.
In several occasions, they invade and graze in private land, including the Europeans ranches. The Morans (warriors) are usually armed.


Laikipia has attracted potential investors from the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Namibia, China, Brazil, in addition to Kenyan companies.

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Business

Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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Business

Global CEOs Back Plan to Unlock $3.4 Trillion Potential of Africa Free Trade Area

23rd January 2023

African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.

The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.

To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. “Our wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,” said Børge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.”

Given the continent’s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. “The promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.

The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.

“Macro trends in the four key sectors and across Africa’s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,” said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.

“These projections reveal an unprecedented opportunity for local and global businesses to invest in African countries and play a vital role in the development of crucial local and regional value chains on the continent,” said Landry Signé, Executive Director and Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa.

The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,

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Business

Electricity generation down 15.8%

9th January 2023

Electricity generation in Botswana during the third quarter of 2022 declined by 15.8%, following operational challenges at Botswana Power Corporation’ Morupule B power plant, according to Statistics Botswana Index of Electricity Generation (IEG) released last week.

The index shows that local electricity generation decreased by 148,243 MWH from 937,597 MWH during the second quarter of 2022 to 789,354 MWH during the third of quarter of 2022.

This decrease, according to the index, was mainly attributed to a decline in power supply realized at Morupule B power station. The index shows that as a result of low power supply from the plant, imported electricity during the third quarter of 2022 increased by 76.3 percent (123,831 MWH), from 162,340 MWH during the second quarter of 2022 to 286,171 MWH during the current quarter and Statistics Botswana added that the increase was necessitated by the need to augment the shortfall in generated electricity.

In the index Statistics Botswana stated that Eskom was the main source of imported electricity at 42.0 percent of total electricity imports. “The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) accounted for 38.4 percent, while the remaining 10.1, 9.1 and 0.5 percent were sourced from Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM), Cross-border electricity markets and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO), respectively. Cross-border electricity markets are arrangements whereby towns and villages along the border are supplied with electricity from neighbouring countries such as Namibia and Zambia.”

The government owned statistics entity stated that distributed electricity decreased by 2.2 percent (24,412 MWH), from 1,099,937 MWH during the second quarter of 2022 to 1,075,525 MWH during the third quarter of 2022. The entity noted that electricity generated locally contributed 73.4 percent to electricity distributed during the third quarter of 2022, compared to a contribution of 85.2 percent during the third quarter in 2022 and added that this gives a decline of 11.8 percentage points. “The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that the contribution of electricity generated to electricity distributed decreased by 11.8 percentage points compared to the 85.2 percent contribution during the second quarter of 2022.”

Statistics Botswana meanwhile stated that the year-on-year analysis shows some improvement in local electricity generation. Recent figures from entity show that the physical volume of electricity generated increased by 36.3 percent (210,319 MWH), from 579, 036 MWH during the third quarter of 2021 to 789,354 MWH during the current quarter. According to Statistics Botswana electricity generated locally contributed 73.4 percent to electricity distributed during the third quarter of 2022, compared to a contribution of 57.7 percent during the same quarter in 2021. This gives an increase of 15.7 percentage points.

 

The entity noted that trends also show an increase in physical volume of electricity distributed from 2013 to the third quarter of 2022, thereby indicating that there are ongoing efforts to meet the domestic demand for power. “There has been a gradual increase of distributed electricity from the first quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2022, even though there are fluctuations. The year-on-year perspective shows that the amount of distributed electricity increased by 7.2 percent (71,787 MHW), from 1,003,738 MWH during the third quarter of 2021 to 1,075,525 MWH during the current quarter.”

The statistics entity noted that year-on-year analysis show that during the third quarter of 2022, the physical volume of imported electricity decreased by 32.6 percent (138,532 MWH), from 424,703 MWH during the third quarter of 2021 to 286,171 MWH during the third quarter of 2022. “There is a downward trend in the physical volume of imported electricity from the first quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2022. The downward trend indicates the country’s continued effort to generate adequate electricity to meet domestic demand, hence the decreased reliance on electricity imports.”

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