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FKE: Low skills hurt western counties

Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has expressed concern over slow pace of investments in western Kenya region.

FKE executive director Jacqueline Mugo said employers in the region are worried of shrinking businesses, a situation she noted is partly caused by lack of skills linked to the current and future demands of the labour market.

As a remedy to the situation, Mugo called for dialogue between employers and county governments aimed at coming up with measures and policies that will attract investments.

She also recommended that county governments put into place a framework that can support social dialogue between employers and training institutions in Western Kenya in bid to ensure skills developed in the region are linked both to the current and future demands of the labour market.

“We urge county governments to give priority to projects that will catch the eyes of investors thereby bring key contributions to the economic development of the region,” Mugo said during the Western Kenya branch FKE 38th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.

FKE Western regional vice-president Charles Owelle said that a number of factors such as frequent power blackouts and the impending sugar industry woes have become detrimental to the region’s economic growth.

He said that collapse of some sugar millers in the region was to blame for its stagnated economic growth. “FKE urges stakeholders to accelerate privatisation process of State-owned sugar factories.

This will improve their performance and efficiency,” he said. On his part, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o expressed optimism that the region’s economy would rejuvenate and record steady growth with upcoming investment opportunities such as the Kenya Breweries Limited plant in Kisumu town.

Nyong’o noted that governors within the region are banking on the Lake region economic bloc to be able to spearhead economic development. He stated that several flagship projects are lined up by member counties forming the bloc that seek to spur economic recovery.

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