Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell hosted Kakamega County, Kenya H.E. Governor Wyclife Ambestsa Oparanya and a delegation this week to learn about each other’s government operations and explore the possibility of a Sister City relationship.
City and county officials exchanged information on local government operations and the various branches of government. For instance, public safety and education are generally in local hands in Allentown while they are the responsibility of the national government in Kenya.
Kakamega County is one of 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya. It has a population in excess of 1.8 million and covers more than 3,000 square miles. Kakamega is the largest town in the county and has a population of about 150,000.
According to H.E. the Governor, agriculture is the main economic activity in Kakamega County. It is a principle responsibility of county government followed by health, energy and tourism.
Kakamega County officials are seeking investment to support their agricultural efforts in a number of areas, including equipment, training and extension services, seeds and fertilizer and irrigation. Bigger ticket items include milk processing equipment, animal feed processing plants and livestock slaughter houses. The county is also interested in attracting manufacturers of many of those same products to locate plants in Kenya.
Incentives for investors from the county government include land, water, three phase electricity and infrastructure.
According to county officials, only 50,000 of the county’s 470,000 employable youths have jobs.
The Kenyan delegation arrived Sunday and is in the United States through Friday, September 28, 2018. They had also planned visits to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Moravian and Cedar Crest colleges and the United Nations.