A Kenyan County has won the admiration and recognition of one of the world's best selling financial publication

The newspaper, renowned for its independent financial insights, cited the milestones made by the county under the stewardship of Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

  • UK-based Financial Times newspaper has cited Makueni County as a success story in devolution.
  • The newspaper, renowned for its independent financial insights, cited the milestones made by the county under the stewardship of Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
  • Governor Kivutha Kibwana, a former Presidential advisor, has built the first fruit processing plant in the County empowering more than 12,000 farmers.

UK-based Financial Times newspaper has cited Makueni County as a success story in devolution.

The newspaper, renowned for its independent financial insights, cited the milestones made by the county under the stewardship of Governor Kivutha Kibwana, ranging from the fruit processing to milk-processing plants in Kikima, Mbooni constituency.

“They used to earn Sh3(3 US cents) a kilo or even less but now we’re paying them Sh15 adding that with the new-found certainty more farmers have planted mango trees,” it stated.

Governor Kivutha Kibwana, a former Presidential advisor, decided to build the first fruit processing plant in the County after realizing that many of the 12,000 mango farmers in his county were struggling to earn a decent living because of the lack of a local buyer.

The plant currently produces only pulp, but plans are already underway to install juice-making machinery to give more value to its produce, before the end of the year with help from the European Union.

A water bottling business plan is also in the works.

Riding on the concept’s success, the governor also opened the first milk-processing plant in the county.

“We want to be a catalyst to create a grassroots economy that will be driven by the private sector,” he says. “But with no one willing to take the risk to invest, we had to take the lead,” read the article.

Situated in six acres of scrubby farmland at the end of a dirt track, the Makueni Fruit Processing Plant does not look particularly special with production stopped until later this month when a new crop of mangoes is expected.

But the nine-month-old facility, about 135km south-east of the capital Nairobi, is among the most tangible evidence of how Kenya is being transformed by what is arguably the most radical experiment in devolved government in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Makueni governor says had it not been for devolution, the multi-million plant would not have seen the light of the day.

“The plant would not have been built without devolution,” explains Kibwana.

Previously there was money at the centre in Nairobi and officials there would make decisions about projects in far-flung areas of the country. But most of them failed.”

Things are however different today and now counties are responsible for everything from providing health services to constructing roads and developing their economies.

Some counties have also already taken a cue from Makueni County.

Earlier this year officials from Nyandarua County, some 50km north of Nairobi, announced they would build a potato-processing plant, supported by the Irish government while in Mandera, governor Ali Roba has attracted Philips, a Dutch multinational company, to set up health centres, as part of a UN-led initiative.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Amazing transformation of 21-year-old man bullied for being born different (video)

Abel Mutua's movie makes over Sh4M in 5 days

Abel Mutua's movie makes over Sh4M in 5 days

Sh79,000 per month jobs for Kenyans without degrees

Sh79,000 per month jobs for Kenyans without degrees

How Janet Mbugua's husband Eddie landed Sh240 million deal with Chinese investors

How Janet Mbugua's husband Eddie landed Sh240 million deal with Chinese investors

5 things you should never do to please a woman

5 things you should never do to please a woman

Vera imports Baby Diapers from US, Help rebuild Boniface Mwangi's house & other stories on #PulseUhondoMtaani

Vera imports Baby Diapers from US, Help rebuild Boniface Mwangi's house & other stories on #PulseUhondoMtaani

British MP claims she didn't know her flat was owned by the Kenyatta family

British MP claims she didn't know her flat was owned by the Kenyatta family

Janet Mbugua's husband thrown at the centre of nasty fight at Ole Sereni Hotel [Video]

Janet Mbugua's husband thrown at the centre of nasty fight at Ole Sereni Hotel [Video]

Tiwa Savage breaks silence after her raunchy tape leaked online [Screenshot]

Tiwa Savage breaks silence after her raunchy tape leaked online [Screenshot]