Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony has urged Turkish investors to set up base in the region and establish industries which will help in poverty eradication through the empowerment of women and youth.
Addressing a joint press conference in his office on Monday when he met with Turkey's ambassador to Kenya Deniz Eke, Prof Chepkwony said there are numerous areas, especially in processing and information technology, which require Turkish prowess and pledged to ensure that there is a favourable environment for the investors.
“Kericho County is ripe for investment and the ambassador has told me what we need to do to attract investors from Turkey to Kericho as we seek to create employment opportunities for our people and enhance our capacity to add value to the various agricultural products that this county is renowned for,” said Prof Chepkwony.
The governor said the county government recently purchased Turkish made milk coolers to be distributed to tens of cooperative societies across the county as part of efforts by his government to boost the dairy sector, saying Turkey is known for high-quality equipment.
LOBBY POTENTIAL INVESTORS
Ms Eke assured the governor that she will lobby various potential investors through her office, adding that after holding talks with Prof Chepkwony, she realised that there are numerous opportunities for the economic growth of the county.
The envoy hailed the “excellent relations” between Kenya and her country which she noted were strengthened by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Turkey in 2014 and the return visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June 2016.
However, she said there is need for further talks to determine the county administration’s short and long term plans as well as the actual priority areas to allow her office to channel the development cooperation capabilities to suit them.
EQUIPMENT FROM TURKEY
“We are happy that the equipment being used in Kericho is from Turkey.
“Our aim is to bring in Turkish investors who have skills and the technological know-how to produce here along with the Kenyans and Kericho presents a good investment hub for Turkish investors in various sectors,” she said.
She added that both countries are strategically placed, adding that while Kenya has risen to become a regional hub for ICT, trade and transportation, Turkey has also come up as a connection point for Asia, Europe and Africa.
The two countries share many characteristics including production of high quality tea and high populations of young people, she added.
Prof Chepkwony had earlier met the Turkish ambassador two months ago while on a benchmarking tour in Machakos County where he invited her to visit Kericho and assess the available investment opportunities.