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Northern counties to hold investment forum on climate resilience – Kenya News Agency

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Lamu County is set to host a joint five-County Investment Conference later this month aimed at exploring innovative solutions to enhance climate resilience and stimulate economic development in the frontier arid and marginalised regions.

Under the Frontier Counties Development Council, the County Governments of Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera are set to organise a joint County Investment Conference slated for June 27th in Lamu County.

This conference aims to bring together over 500 delegates, including government officials, NGOs, researchers, private sector representatives, and local communities, under the theme “Unveiling Opportunities: Redefining Northern Kenya as an Investable Destination,” and will focus on coming up with solutions and recommendations that will boost agriculture and tourism, as well as explore potential opportunities that are available under the LAPSSET corridor.

Speaking to the media ahead of the event, area Governor Issa Timamy stated that as communities in Kenya’s marginalised semi-arid lands grapple with the high levels of poverty, the conference will seek to explore new and innovative ways through which to grow the region’s socioeconomic standing within the country as well as tackle the increasing threats of climate change.

“Our region is rich in potential and brimming with opportunities despite our counties being vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” he stated, adding that it is imperative that the ASAL counties develop and implement strategies to mitigate these and create a resilient environment that supports agricultural and livestock sectors, thus ensuring long-term economic stability and food security for area communities.

The sentiments were echoed by Tana River Governor Dhadho Godana, who further highlighted the importance of diversifying the economy.

He stated that the conference will be more than just a gathering, as it is a testament to the region’s shared vision of a thriving, inclusive economy.

“By investing in responsible mining practices and establishing manufacturing industries, we can create jobs, increase our revenue base, and reduce our reliance on traditional economic activities,” Godana said.

“This strategic infrastructure project can greatly enhance connectivity, facilitate trade, and attract investments. By improving animal health services and expanding market access, we can significantly increase livestock productivity and profitability,” Garissa Governor Nathif Adam further highlighted, in reference to the LAPSSET project.

In a separate statement, Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi, Governor of Wajir County, called for increased investment in agriculture, stating that the region boasts of vast tracts of arable land and a favourable climate for various crops.

He further reiterated the need for an increase in commercial agriculture and embracing value-added, which he noted will be critical for transforming the county’s economy.

USAID Kuza were key facilitators for the conference, with Venny Mayaka, the Deputy Chief of Party for USAID Kuza, noting that the forum is a crucial step towards building a more resilient future for Kenya’s ASAL communities.

“By working together, we can ensure these regions are equipped to adapt and thrive. USAID Kuza’s new climate finance window, which earmarks US$6 million for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Northern Kenya, is a significant step in this direction,” he said.

By Amenya Ochieng

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