Laikipia County’s economy grew 0.05% between 2019/20
The County Government of Laikipia has reported an improved performance in its economic outlook.
According to its latest report, Laikipia County Statistical Abstract, the county’s Gross County Product (GCP) increased by 0.05 percent between 2019 and 2020.
According to the report, the county’s chief contribution to the National Government’s GDP is fueled by public administration and defense at 1.8 percent, the water supply comes in second at 1.45 percent while agriculture, forestry and fishing contributed 1.3 percent.
“From the agricultural performance in the year 2020 we can state that that is one of the sectors that created resilience in terms if a better economic performance in the county because agriculture performed far much better within that one year,” said Charles Nderitu, Director Economic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Between 2019 and 2020 the county also witnessed a 44.3 percent growth in employment opportunities that saw 17,835 more people get employed a figure that was necessitated by growth in licensed businesses and manufacturing establishments by 57 percent and 94 percent respectively.
Through the Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development Program, started in 2018 to support innovative enterprises in 2018 the program supported 50 enterprises and last year it supported 537 enterprises.
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In the 2020/2021 financial years, Laikipia county collected its highest revenue yet in a single fiscal year through the Own Source Revenue Collection increasing by 15.8 percent from Ksh.727 million 2019/2020 to Ksh.840 million in 2020/2021.
While tourism improved in the county with an increased number of hotels, the number of visitors reduced in 2020 due to travel restrictions. Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki, however, remains optimistic of future performance especially after the county issued a Ksh1.4 billion infrastructure bond.
Speaking on the bond, the county deputy boss said the resources would be allocated in revenue generation projects within the county.
“It has to go to specific projects. It’s not for recurrent or operations and maintenance it is very specific to projects that then generate revenue streams that go back to the repayment of this bond and we are very specific on making sure that we upgrade 10 smart towns and we have water for irrigation which is to spur growth in the agricultural sector.” Deputy Governor John Mwaniki.
Mwaniki went ahead to urge other counties to follow suit and allow their counties to be credit-rated in an effort attractive to private investment in their counties. Currently, Laikipia county remains the only credit rated county with a score of BB plus.