TRADE AND INVESTMENT

KAM pledges support as Lamu woos private sector investment

Any Manufacturer investing in Lamu stands to benefit from,a special economic zone-SEZ, interregional highways, crude oil pipeline etc.

In Summary
  • Wakiaga noted that Lamu is hots to one of East Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project that is the Lamu port-LAPSSET.

  • She noted that the availability of regular power supply and proximity of the new Lamu port-LAPPSET project positions Lamu to be an ideal industrial hub.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials at the Lamu port.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials at the Lamu port.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials at the Lamu port.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials at the Lamu port.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM has pledged to support the establishment of various sector-based industries’ in Lamu county with a view to promoting trade and investment in the county.

The KAM Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga said the association was partnering with the county government of Lamu to equally uphold standards, encourage the formulation, enactment and administration of sound policies that facilitate a competitive business environment.

Speaking during a meeting with the county Executive for Trade and Industrialization Josephat Musembi, Wakiaga noted that Lamu is hots to one of East Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects that is the Lamu port-LAPSSET.

She noted that the availability of regular power supply and proximity of the new Lamu port-LAPPSET project positions Lamu to be an ideal industrial hub.

“Any Manufacturer investing in Lamu stands to benefit from; a special economic zone-SEZ, interregional highways, crude oil pipeline, development of international airport, standard gauge railway lines, resort cities, merchant oil refinery, fibre optic cables and communication systems among others,” said Wakiaga.

The KAM delegation and the county government of Lamu discussed a host of investment opportunities among them the establishment of a fruit processing plant in Majembeni Mpeketoni, a Flour Milling Factory in Hindi area, a sugar Processing factory in Nyongoro-Witu Ward, the establishment of an oil processing factory to add value to locally produced sesame, coconut and cashew nuts.

They also looked into the possible establishment of a cotton ginnery, a Milk Processing Plant in Witu with a capacity of 10,000 litres per day to produce Pasteurized milk, UHT, Yoghurt, Mala, Powdered Milk, the establishment of a Honey Processing Plant among others.

Wakiaga said the Lamu port provides the perfect avenue for imports and exports from such local industries to happen.

“Once such industries are in place, there is definitely a guarantee for value-addition as the players will be able to export their end products to the global markets via the Lamu port. They will equally be able to import what they want to better their trade through the same channel. The port is a big plus to trade,” she said.

Lamu county Executive for Trade and Industrialization Josephat Musembi said the meeting marked a beginning of a long-term partnership towards promoting Trade, Investment and private sector development in the county.

He said the count was committed to increasing private sector investment opportunities so as to improve Lamu’s competitiveness, encourage diversification, create employment as well as a more inclusive economic growth.

Musembi recognized the private sector as a critical stakeholder and partner in economic development, a provider of income, jobs, goods, and services that have in turn enhanced the lives of the people of Lamu.

“We will Partner with KAM to create awareness of opportunities for manufacturers in Lamu as well as partner in finding practical solutions for trade and investment constraints. We are keen on promoting continuous dialogue with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), to help create an improved business environment and enhance investor confidence in Lamu, ”said Musembi.

INFRASTRUCTURE

With the launch of the Port in Lamu, the county has been angling to attract more cargo destined for the domestic and transit market within the region to fully utilize the modern facility.

According to Lamu Port managing director Abdullahi Samatar, the Port is aggressively marketing the facility and is expecting to handle a car carrier for its next shipment, which will transport motor vehicles by road to their final destination.

During a reception to welcome MV Ionian Express that docked at the Port of Lamu in September, Eng. Samatar noted that so far, the port has received vessels carrying transshipment cargo to be loaded for onward transfer to other ports.

MV Ionian Express is set to load 498 TEUs of transshipment cargo comprising mixed merchandise including agricultural products, electronics, and garments headed for Zanzibar.

CAPACITY

The Lamu Port was opened for business by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 20. 

This is the country's second major sea port, after the Port of Mombasa.

The port has a bigger vessel handling capacity than Mombasa.

Its berths are 400 metres long compared to Mombasa’s 300 meters average while the depth at Lamu is up to minus 17.5 meters against 15 meters at the Port of Mombasa.

The government  invested Sh40 billion in constructing the initial three berths of the planned 23-berth facility.

The port has the capacity to handle ships with a carrying capacity of up to 12,000 TEUs, compared to the 8,000 to 10,000 TEUs carrying capacity vessels that are calling at the Port of Mombasa.

Lamu can handle Post-Panamax ships. This are vessels that cannot pass the Panama Canal, with the word Post-Panamax being used to decribe world's biggest vessels.

Its natural depth and proximity to the open sea makes it potential  for transshipment as it will attract lager vessels that cannot dock at Mombasa, according to the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA).

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,Lamu deputy governor Abdulhakim Aboud and County Executive for Trade and Industrilization Josephat Musembi.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,Lamu deputy governor Abdulhakim Aboud and County Executive for Trade and Industrilization Josephat Musembi.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials during the meeting at the county headquarters in Mokowe.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers-KAM-Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga,her team and county government of Lamu officials during the meeting at the county headquarters in Mokowe.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES