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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

Dark days as Aviation industry collapses

22nd November 2020
Air Botswana

As the Aviation industry takes a COVID-19 pummeling, for Africa the numbers are staggering, Chief Executive Officer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac has observed.

Speaking recently at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has been hosting an Annual General Assembly, de Juniac said traffic is down 89% and revenue loses are expected to reach $6 billion. And this figure is likely to be revised downwards in the next forecast to be released later this month. “But the impact is much broader. The consequences of the breakdown in connectivity are severe,” he surmised.

According to de Juniac, five million African livelihoods are at risk while aviation-supported GDP could fall by as much as $37 billion. That’s a 58% fall.

“We have a health crisis. And it is evolving into a jobs and economic disaster. Fixing it is beyond the scope of what the industry can do by itself.”

He said they need governments to act, “And act fast to prevent a calamity.”

“We are in the middle of the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced. As leaders of Africa’s aviation industry, you know that firsthand. Airline revenues have collapsed. Fleets are grounded. And you are taking extreme actions just to survive. We all support efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our duty and we will prevail. But policymakers must know that this has come at a great cost to jobs, individual freedoms and entire economies,” he said.

de Juniac used the AFRA general assembly platform to amplify IATA’s call for governments to address two top priorities: “The first is unblocking committed financial relief. Airlines will go bust without it. Already four African carriers have ceased operations and two are in administration. Without financial relief, many others will follow.”

Over US$31 billion in financial support has been pledged by African governments, international finance bodies and other institutions, including the African Development Bank, the African Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Unfortunately de Juniac pointed out, in his words, “Pledges do not pay the bills. And little of this funding has materialized. And let me emphasize that, while we are calling for relief for aviation, this is an investment in the future of the continent. It will need financially viable airlines to support the economic recovery from COVID-19.”

The second priority, according to IATA is to safely re-open borders using testing and without quarantines.

“People have not lost their desire to travel. Border closures and travel restrictions make it effectively impossible. Forty-four countries in Africa have opened their borders to regional and international air travel. In 20 of these countries, passengers are still subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Who would travel under such conditions?” de Juniac quizzed rhetorically.

He suggested that countries should adopt systematic testing before departure provides a safe alternative to quarantine and a solution to stop the economic and social devastation being caused by COVID-19.

He admitted that it’s a frightening time for everyone, not least the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on a functioning airline industry. Right now, de Juniac said there essentially is no airline industry. He cited the example that China’s largest airlines sound optimistic, but in a vague way. “They gave no hard data about current yields, loads, or forward bookings, discussing only developments in 2019. Boy, does that seem like ages ago.”

Aviation’s darkest days

The IATA CEO said these are the darkest days in aviation’s history. “But as leaders of this great industry I know that you will share with me continued confidence in the future.

Our customers want to fly. They desire the exploration that aviation enables. They need to do international business that aviation facilitates. And they long to reunite with family and loved ones.”

He said the industry will, no doubt, be changed by this crisis, but flying will return. “Airlines will be back in the skies. The resilience of our industry has been proven many times. We will rise again,” he said.

de Juniac said Aviation is a business of freedom. “For Africa that is the freedom to develop and thrive. And that is not something people on this continent will forget or lose their desire for.”

 

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Business

Inflation increased to 2.2% in October 2020

22nd November 2020

Headline inflation increased from 1.8 percent in September to 2.2 percent in October 2020, but remained below the lower bound of the Bank’s medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent, and lower than the 2.4 percent in October 2019.

According to Statistics Botswana, the increase in inflation between September and October 2020 mainly reflects the upward adjustment in domestic fuel prices {Transport (from -3.9 to -2.5 percent)}, which is estimated to have increased inflation by approximately 0.29 percentage points.

“There was also a rise in the annual price increase for most categories of goods and services: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (from 6.2 to 6.6 percent); Clothing and Footwear (from 2.5 to 2.7 percent); Communications (from 0.6 to 0.9 percent); Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels (from 6.4 to 6.6 percent); Recreation and Culture (from 0 to 0.2 percent); Miscellaneous Goods and Services (from 0.7 to 0.9 percent); Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (from 4.2 to 4.3 percent); and Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance (from 2 to 2.1 percent). Inflation remained stable for: Education (4.7 percent); Restaurants and Hotels (3 percent); and Health (1.5 percent). Similarly, the 16 percent trimmed mean inflation and inflation excluding administered prices rose from 1.8 percent and 3.1 percent to 2.2 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, in the same period.”

[Source: Bank of Botswana]

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Business

BDC injects further P64 million into Kromberg & Schubert

22nd November 2020
BDC

Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has to date pumped a total of P100 million into the expansion of Kromberg and Schubert, a car harnessing manufacturing company, operating from Gaborone Old Naledi.

At the official ground breaking ceremony of the company‘s new warehouse today, BDC Managing Director, Cross Kgosidiile revealed the wholly state owned investment corporation has pumped P64 million into the expansion which entailed building of the new warehouse.

Kgosidiile explained that this follows another expansion project which was successfully launched in 2017, in which BDC invested P36 million, bringing the total investment into Kromberg at P100 million. The MD also acknowledged Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) as a partner in the project and for having facilitated the acquisition of the land.

 

Giving a keynote address, Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Peggy Serame highlighted the importance of infrastructural development in growing the local manufacturing sector and transforming the economy of Botswana.

Serame underscored the value of strategic partnerships between Government and the private sector, noting that when the two work together and pull together in one direction results will be evident and jobs will be created.

“With the prevailing conditions of depressed economy occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, government is reliant on entities like BDC to bring in revenue and acceleration of private sector development in line with its mandate and strategic plan. This plan is supported by the need to invest in growth sectors and accelerate the implementation of the Economic Diversification Drive,” Serame said.

Minister Serame noted that the partnership between BDC and Kromberg & Schubert begun in 2017 when the P36 million, 4100 square metres factory expansion for the company was launched.

 

She said the launch of the 7320 square meters factory expansion, to be built at the tune of P64 million signals the continuation of the good partnership between the two companies.

 

“I must commend BDC for their continuous efforts to build partnerships with the private sector geared towards contributing to economic development of this country.”

 

Minister Serame also added that BITC through its robust investor aftercare programme continues to provide value added and red carpet to Kromberg and Schubert under their One Stop Service Centre.

 

“In this regard BITC facilitated acquisition of land to enable this expansion. I therefore would like to commend BITC for their timely facilitation to make this expansion possible,” the minister said.

 

Kromberg & Schubert was incorporated in Botswana in 2009; The Company has grown to asset its position as a significant player in the regional automotive industry value chain.

 

The company is also a critical player in the economic development of Botswana, it currently employs 2100 Batswana across its operations. Kromberg exports on average P2.0 billion worth of goods annually, contributing significantly to foreign exchange.

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