The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is partnering with Kisii County Government to hold the Kisii National Polytechnic Inaugural International Interdisciplinary Conference scheduled for August 17th to 19th this year.

In a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce chaired by the Chamber President (CP) Mr.  Richard Ngatia, H.E. Kisii Governor James Ongwae called for the Chamber’s support and participation at the proposed conference that will take place at the Kisii National polytechnic.

Governor Ongwae, who is also the Deputy Chairperson Council of Governors has acknowledged KNCCI’s pivotal role in connecting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) trainees to the market. KNCCI is expected to support in mobilizing participants to the conference and handling the skills competition for TVET institutions in the region. The Chamber President is also expected to be the Key Note Speaker at the International Conference.

According to the governor, “the conference will provide a platform for: showcasing what is being done at TVET institutions in the County ; identify gaps that need to be addressed, and sharing ideas on what needs to be done to position the County better. This will enable players in the economy to pull together and maximize on problem-solving synergy gained from multiple minds working on a solution”.

The governor affirmed that Kisii County has the capacity and potential to highly contribute in building and sustaining the Kenyan economy. He emphasized that the County has a vibrant SME sector and is home for artisans from across the region. He stated that apart from agricultural food products, the County is blessed with soapstone which can generate more income to the County and the entire Country if value addition is done. He added that there is a ready market for soapstone in South Africa and other countries but exporting it as a raw material generates little income compared to if it was value added.

In his remarks, CP Mr. Richard Ngatia committed to support Kisii County in realizing the Chamber’s vision- that is, “a Vibrant and prosperous business community”. Leveraging on the MOU between KNCCI and the Council of Governors, Ngatia highlighted that the Chamber endeavors to promote inter and intra county trade as well as enhancing enterprise development and competiveness.

In partnership with key stakeholders, KNCCI has implemented various projects that have benefited several counties. An example is the MasterCard COVID-19 Resilience Program which supported youth and women in all the 47 counties to access 0% interest loans of up to Ksh. 30,000; enabling recovery from the effects of COVID-19 for small scale traders.

The CP reiterated that the Chamber closely works with counties in organizing and executing trade fairs and investment conferences. This enhances collaboration in the promotion of trade at the counties to expand trade and economic cooperation in Kenya.

CP Ngatia appreciated Kisii County Government for always participating in trade missions and activities organized by the Chamber, quoting the Egypt trade mission that took place in Cairo from 2nd to 9th July,2021. In addition, he invited the County Government to attend and participate at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 that will take place from 1st October, 2021 to 31st March 2022 and seize the global business opportunities available.

“This will be an opportunity for you to market yourself and your products and interact with key players in the global business to learn and tap on best business practices”, said Ngatia.

The Chamber President emphasized that private- public partnership is important, and that through frequent engagement, positive ideas on how to improve the trade sector emerge. While confirming his participation for the Kisii conference, the CP extended his gratitude to Kisii County Government for reaching out to KNCCI for the partnership.

The Kisii Polytechnic Conference will bring together key players in the economy for two days of plenary and round table discussions for the sharing of ideas, and discussion on professional issues. This is geared towards initiating an integrated national conversation on the role of technical and entrepreneurship skills in sustainable development and readjusting the TVET’s agenda by refocusing new efforts on technologies and innovations.

Accompanying the Governor were; Chair Kisii National Polytechnic Governing Council Chairman- Prof. Kisilu Kitainge, Kisii Polytechnic Principal Mr. David Mwangi, Kisii County Executive Committee Member (Administration) Edna Kangwana and Communication Officer Lilian Bonareri.

Also present from KNCCI were; CEO Samuel Matonda, Director Pravin Eazhawa, Director George Karanja (Dr.), Liaison Manager Liz Guantai and Communications Manager Grace Mwanja.