H.E. Governor Cornel Rasanga through the Department of Enterprise and Industrial Development sponsored a team of 20 Jua Kali, SMEs and County Government officials led by Enterprise and Industrial Development CECM Hon. Jaoko Oburu to showcase some of the county’s unique innovations and creativity in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at the 19th EAC Jua Kali- Nguvu Kazi Exhibition at Eldoret Sports Club- Uasin Gishu, from 2nd to 10th December 2018.
This is an annual event hosted by the member countries of the East African Community on a rotational basis which has seen Kenya host the event six times out of the nineteen exhibitions organized so far.
The selection of the exhibitors was done on the basis of innovativeness, use of locally available materials, gender representation; 12 men and 7 women and 1 representative from special groups.
The event serves as a good ground to promote innovation, use of local contents, value addition, and economic growth for the EAC, and enhance regional integration.
For the nine days of the event, each country has a designated day to showcase its unique culture, talents and innovations.
The event which was officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Peter Munya, on the Tuesday 4th December 2018 saw Siaya County perform an explosive exhibition in terms of culture and innovation, led by the CECM for Enterprise and Industrial Development Hon. Jaoko Oburu. Some of the splendid exhibitions included mobile sitting room, mobile office, improved portable stool, maize and millet sheller, locally produced items from Mor-Gem, papyrus reeds among others.
The Deputy President H.E. William Samoei Ruto presided over the Kenya Day Exhibitions on 7th December where all counties were given opportunity to showcase their talents and innovations.
Some of the concerns that came up during the expo were the need for immediate branding, patenting, skills upgrading, financial & technical support aimed at protecting and empowering our Jua Kali sector. In addition there also arose the need for the county to engage in research and policy issues to improve on the quality of products from Siaya County. The much needed growth in Jua Kali sector can be achieved by working closely with various government agencies and departments like KIPI, Anti Counterfeit Agency, KEBS, NITA, KIE, EPC, EAC and other sister counties towards technical support.
There is also a thought through the concerned authorities of organizing local exhibitions at sub county levels so as to improve on the quality of Jua Kali products while ensuring healthy competition during the exhibitions.
The focus on Jua Kali sector is primarily aimed at job creation and faster industrialization. The 19th expo was themed at supporting micro, small and medium enterprises to build East Africa.