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.â€¨
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.
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.
â€¨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.
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.
This week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka approached parliament seeking lawmakers approval of Government’s intention to increase bond program ceiling from the current P15 Billion to P30 billion.
“I stand to request this honorable house to authorize increase in bond issuance program from the current P15 billion to P30 billion,” Dr Matsheka said. He explained that due to the halt in economic growth occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic government had to revisit options for funding the national budget, particularly for the second half of the National Development Plan (NDP) 11.
Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has this week revealed a gloomy picture of diamond mining newcomer, Lucara, with its stock devaluated and its entire business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A BSE survey for a period between 1st January to 31st August 2020 — recording the second half of the year, the third quarter of the year and five months of coronavirus in Botswana — shows that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) depreciated by 5.9 percent.
Botswana Diamond PLC, a diamond exploration company trading on both London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday unlocked value from its shares to raise capital for its ongoing exploration works in Botswana and South Africa.
A statement from the company this week reveals that the placing was with existing and new investors to raise £300,000 via the issue of 50,000,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of 0.6p per Placing Share.
Each Placing Share, according to Botswana Diamond Executives has one warrant attached with the right to subscribe for one new ordinary share at 0.6p per new ordinary share for a period of two years from, 7th September 2020, being the date of the Placing Warrants issue.
In a statement Chairman of Botswana Diamonds, John Teeling explained that the funds raised will be used to fund ongoing exploration activities during the current year in Botswana and South Africa, and to provide additional working capital for the Company.
The company is currently drilling kimberlite M8 on the Marsfontein licence in South Africa and has generated further kimberlite targets which will be drilled on the adjacent Thorny River concession.
In Botswana, the funds will be focused on commercializing the KX36 project following the recent acquisition of Sekaka Diamonds from Petra Diamonds. This will include finalizing a work programme to upgrade the grades and diamond value of the kimberlite pipe as well as investigating innovative mining options.
Drilling is planned for the adjacent Sunland Minerals property and following further assessment of the comprehensive Sekaka database more drilling targets are likely. “This is a very active and exciting time for Botswana Diamonds. We are drilling the very promising M8 kimberlite at Marsfontein and further drilling is likely on targets identified on the adjacent Thorny River ground,” he said.
The company Board Chair further noted, “We have a number of active projects. The recently acquired KX36 diamond resource in the Kalahari offers great potential. While awaiting final approvals from the Botswana authorities some of the funds raised will be used to detail the works we will do to refine grade, size distribution and value per carat.”
In addition BOD said the Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Application will be made for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that such admission will become effective on or around 23 September 2020.
Last month Botswana Diamond announced that it has entered into agreement with global miner Petra Diamonds to acquire the latter’s exploration assets in Botswana. Key to these assets, housed under Sekaka Diamonds, 100 % subsidiary of Petra is the KX36 Diamond discovery, a high grade ore Kimberlite pipe located in the CKGR, considered Botswana’s next diamond glory after the magnificent Orapa and prolific Jwaneng Mines.
The acquisition entailed two adjacent Prospecting Licences and a diamond processing plant. Sekaka has been Petra’s exploration vehicle in Botswana for year and holds three Prospecting Licenses in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari) PL169/2019, PL058/2007 and PL224/2007, which includes the high grade KX36 kimberlite pipe.