Government spokesperson Hon. Sen. (Dr.) ISAAC Maigua Mwaura
Why Kenya Is A Great Country With So Many Opportunities In Tourism, Mining, Blue Economy And Wildlife
Government spokesperson Hon. Sen. (Dr.) ISAAC Maigua Mwaura, says tourism is the 4th foreign exchange earner in our country. In fact, we pride ourselves as a very hospitable country, with our slogan ‘hakuna matata’ being a global catch phrase for international travel.
He adds that our country is now visa free meaning that we shall have more visitors coming into our country going forward. For example, international arrivals have grown by 18.42% in the last 16 months meaning that our country received 273.412 more visitors.
Kenya has increased by one day from 10 to 11 days. The more they stay, the more they are spending. Actually, the country was able to rake in an additional Ksh 650 million from this sector alone, due to the fact that spending in hotels has also increased by 3% with regards to bed occupancy.
Tourists come to Kenya primarily to see animals. The government is thus putting in place measures to ensure that the endangered species don’t become extinct such as the northern rhino whose current population is only two in the country. However, endangered elephants have increased by 692, while black Rhinos have grown by 80.
Our country has also increased training opportunities for 1,044 youth under the Kenya Kwanza administration in the tourism sector. These graduates will help support this growing sector of the economy, whose full potential is yet to be realized. For example, the Ronald Ngala Utalii Training College that will be opened in June this year will have a capacity to train 5,000 youth at a go. The focus is to make the college a centre of excellence on export labour to countries such as Saudi Arabia; that is building a new city, requiring 350,000 workers! This is indeed a great opportunity for those who are jobless!
Kenya is also becoming a popular destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) travel. Last year alone, our local and international conferences hit the 10,000 mark with an increase of 2,151 conferences, and over 14,000 delegates from around the world came in.
In matters justice, any way to resolve disputes out of courts is desirable. This is because of the fact that it takes a lot of time for a matter to be heard and determine in court. However, the government through the office of the Attorney General has been able to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve small claims for so many hustlers for sums amounting to Ksh 15 million.
In addition, 4,055 cases have been settled between families, resulting in over 3.1 billion worth of money being accessed by widows, widowers and other vulnerable members of the society such as persons with disabilities, without having to go to court.
Affording lawyers is not easy for many Kenyans. In fact, majority of the hustlers cannot pay or even understand the often complex legal processes in order for them to access justice. 1t is thus refreshing to know that 122,221 hustlers, who couldn’t pay for legal services, were given legal aid in civil, criminal, and children matters by the government.
Our country is really endowed with many natural resources including minerals such as gemstones, gold, fluorspar, granite etc. The Government through the Ministry of Mining has been keen on ensuring that we don’t export these minerals as a raw material. As a result, 5 value addition sites have been completed in Voi, Vihiga, Elgeyo Marakwet, and in Nairobi counties for gold, gemstone and other minerals. This way, our miners will get more value from their labour, translating to higher incomes for them and also foreign exchange to the country.
Moreover, 869 youth were recruited last year alone to go work in foreign ships, thus earning an income for their families in foreign currency. In addition, 621 Common Interest Groups comprising of fishermen and other forms of trade within the blue economy were given grants amounting to Ksh 1.5 Billion in the last one year to boost their businesses.
Some of the beneficiaries are 50 Beach Management Units (BMUs) that have also been transformed to cooperative societies. An example is the Mwakamba BMU in Diani that has helped restore the mangrove forest around the Kongo Estuary that drains into the Indian Ocean. In addition, 26 boats have been donated by the government to 8 BMUs; while 875 fishermen have been training on how do fishing in deep sea.
This is important as Kenya has so many fish in the deep that goes unexploited or is taken by other countries for free. Further, 565 seaweed farmers have been trained in mariculture in Kwale County to enable them to conduct this form of farming in a more profitable manner.
Whatever is not communicated, hasn’t happened! Now you know, smell the coffee.