Bill seeks to spur economic growth in counties

A Bill before the Senate seeks to promote and integrate industrialization in Counties to promote economic growth. The Bill further establishes a Board that will guide this development for proper marking of progress achieved.

The County Industrial Development Bill, 2014 objectives are to promote and facilitate industrial development in the counties, establish viable industries in the counties that value to the produces in the counties, enhance the economies of the counties and create employment opportunities within the counties through industrialization.

The Board will have structures right from the national level The County Industrial Development Board which will have officials from various government ministries and institutions like the Senate and also have  Chief Executive. Senate’s committee will be formed for oversight purposes.

Moreover, the Board will be devolved such that there will be a County, Constituency and Ward level engagement on matters industrialization. Each of these levels will have its distinct functions and work closely with that at the County level which is the main facilitator of enabling industrialization at the counties.

At the County level, there shall be the County Industrial Development Committee which will coordinate and promote industrialization at the county level. The committee will spearhead industrialization in the County and help to confer and set the shape and direction that matters of industrialization should take in the county.

The Bill reads in part

“in view of the likely constraints in the availability of resources in comparison to the aspirations of the people, prioritize the project proposals and narrow down to a practical portfolio of specific large and small projects to be undertaken; to receive and consider project proposals from the constituencies, the county executive and from private and external investors.”

More importantly, the Bill wants companies that have good ideas to be funded, after undergoing some vetting. The county government will be expected to lead this process, and, where necessary, facilitate the establishment of private industries in the county. This will include supporting and assisting project that qualify to be supported by part-funding from the County Industrial Development Fund upon application by the sponsors. However, the Board shall set out the terms and conditions of funding for private projects, provided such funding shall not exceed forty- nine percent of the total cost of the project.

External investors can also get support including working collaboratively with the county government. The Bill says

“The county government shall endeavor to encourage establishment of industries by external investors. In inviting or accepting such external investors, the County Industrial Development Committee shall satisfy itself, on behalf of the people, that such investment is of benefit to the people of the, county. An external investor may establish an industry in conjunction with the county government through a county corporation within such terms and conditions as may be approved by the County Industrial Development Committee.”

If the Bill is passed, an industrial development project may be funded by

(a) the Board through a loan to the county corporation concerned or other sponsor;

(b) a development, commercial or other financier whose terms have previously been approved by the Board;

(c) the county government in case of a small project; and

(d) any other source, in case of a public project, approved by the Board.

The Bill is sponsored by Senator Muriuki Karue.



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