By Abdi Hussein
Investors from the State of Somaliland are keen to explore the Kenyan solar energy ecosystem, livestock value addition and large scale dry land irrigation schemes.
The new economic plan could rake in billions of shillings in investments in the country as Somaliland moves fast to create networks with neighbouring countries in a race to beat its chaotic neighbour-Somalia.
Kajiado is one of the counties on their radar due to similarities in geography, weather and natural resources as well as the willingness of local leadership to venture into these high impact ventures.
Areas such as Magadi in Kajiado West and parts of Kajiado East and South have been identified as hubs for solar energy and large scale livestock farming and mineral exploration and are likely to be the first stop of potential investors.
Details of these engagements seem to have gone a notch higher after Governor Joseph ole Lenku led a Kenyan delegation that met investors from the Gulf region in mid June 2021. The Governor led the delegation that included Rosemary Odinga, daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Mandera senator Mohamed Mohamud in a four-day visit to Somaliland, culminating in bilateral talks that will soon culminate into high impact projects.
The Kenyan team first graced the commissioning of Berbera Port Complex built at cost of Sh 45 billion by United Arab Emirates investor, Dubai Ports World. The port will be a gateway between Africa and the Gulf region countries and is expected to be a key trade link on livestock and minerals import and export businesses.
The team met Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi at the Presidential Palace in Hargeisa together with local investors who have expressed their desire to partner in a number of projects. Although so far no deal has been hammered, Somaliland envoy to Kenya Bashe Omar confirmed the high level talks on economic partnership first between Kenya as a country and counties as smaller units of devolution.
Governor Lenku said Kajiado County offers a conducive environment for local and international investors due to availability of large tracts of land, available labour and proximity to markets in the Capital city, Nairobi.