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The Visit to London by Governor HE Cyprian Awiti and Ministers from Homa Bay County, Kenya


Following the General Election in Kenya in 2013 the country is undergoing, over a period of three years, a process of devolution from central government in Nairobi to 47 counties.

Homa Bay

Popularly known as the Bay County, because of its many bays, Homa Bay County has a population of approximately 1 million people and about its shoreline covers 80% of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, making the county the leading supplier of fresh lake fish in Kenya. With breathtaking islands, hills, valleys and the longest shores of Lake Victoria, Homa Bay provides unrivalled investment opportunities in Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock, Tourism, Beach Hotels, Health, Roads and Infrastructure, Energy and Mining.
Perez Ochieng
Joab Omondi   
Director sustainability
Sam Ochieng
Director of International Programmes ,

SACOMA is partnering with devolved governments in Kenya to support programmes which can address challenges of acute poverty and governance. SACOMA heavily borrows from the UK systems to extend this learning to the Home Counties in Kenya. E.g. SACOMA imports horticultural products from farmers in poor countries to the UK to give them better return and to promote value chain addition; The trading arm, Sacoma Fresh Produce was established to support the small scale farming sector in Africa by providing support to growers’ sales and marketing in domestic, regional and export markets. It advises grower groups on appropriate product development and negotiates with prospective customers on behalf of these groups.Delivers Business incubator and centres of excellence promoting trade relation and Investments. Thus in demonstrating the multiple dimensions of the diaspora input in the development of Kenya and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries;‘Expand and enhance the contribution that Africans in the Diaspora make to Africa's development’

The visit by Governor Awiti, Governor of Homa Bay County Governement and his Ministers

H. E. Cyprian Awiti
Governor of Homa Bay County
Prof. Tom Migun Ogada
Hon. Minister for Trade & Industry
Hon. David Okeyo
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock
Hon. Nocholas Koriko
Minister for Finanance
David Ajumba
PA to Governors office
Joel Otuoma
Chair of County Assembly

The Governor’s visit is being organised through collaboration between the UK based, Commonwealth accredited organisation BUILD and the Kenyan Diaspora organisation SACOMA.

BUILD (Building Understanding through International Links for Development)  is a coalition of international organisations committed to the development of partnerships between communities (towns, local authorities, health care institutions, schools, faith, youth and cultural groups in UK with counterparts in the Global South). In addition as a Commonwealth accredited organisation BUILD works through Commonwealth institutions to promote community based partnerships across the Commonwealth. In particular BUILD works with the UK Government through the all-party parliamentary group “Connecting Communities” and attends the Commonwealth People’s Forums prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.

Nick Maurice
Director, BUILD

SACOMA (Sahara Communities Abroad) is a UK based Diaspora led organization and SFEDI approved Business centres of Excellence which works with communities in the UK to create jobs and enterprises and to drive the poverty eradication agenda in the home communities; creating jobs and small scale enterprises and income generating activities along the supply chain thereby increasing incomes access to Health services, nutrition, water and sanitation. The range of SACOMA services include: providing Diploma and National Vocational Qualifications & work skills& work space management, institutional capacity building of farmer groups, value chain analysis, development, design and delivery of customer based training. Capacity building, Microfinance to farmer based groups, CBOs and cooperatives. SACOMA also provides linkages for smallholder farmers and SMEs to formal and informal markets and financial source.Combat the negative impacts of the supply and production chain on people and / or the environment. Training and Business Development Services, Trade Partnerships , EPA awareness/ Export preparation, Trade missions, access to markets and Bilateral Trade, Finance and Investment Initiatives have been delivered to a range of institutions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda ,Zambia,

Meeting with All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Kenya on Tuesday 17thDecember  2013in the House of Commons with the Chairman William Cash MP and members of the all party parliamentary group for Kenya.
Ambassador Jackline Yonga
Deputy High Commissioner
Kenya High Commission UK
Courtesy call to the Kenya High Commission

The meeting explored how to
  • To increase the role of the Diaspora in Africa’s development
  • To ensure that the Homa Bay Diaspora inform debates about development priorities for the Count
  • And to foster greater dialogue and engagement between policy makers and UK-based Africans working in development
  • Where are the opportunities for the UK government to engage and get it right and support pro-poor policies. Health partnership to share skills and knowledge on health issues.;
  • Agri-business and support for the agricultural growth sector
  • Diaspora engagement- what do we need to do to build the capacity of Diaspora organizations
  • How can we support the legislative potential for the county government and the county assembly to enact legislations which can work in the new political dispensation? What can the Kenya APPG do, the UK government, Parliament and the diaspora LINKS?
  • Community partnerships- can parliamentarians support their constituents in the UK to engage and partner with communities in Homa Bay County
The key challenge in Kenya is to ensure that devolution of power and resources to the county works for the majority of the population. UK has a long history of parliamentary democracy and devolution and Homa  Bay County is quite keen to learn from that history. Devolution of power and resources is a new concept with various results in Africa. Homa Bay wants to get it right from the beginning and this opportunity to meet the UK partners will begin that journey

And enhance the contribution that Africans In the Diaspora make to Africa's development

Sacoma team welcomes he Gov

Councillor Marriane Alapini

Homa Bay County Government  set to be best run county in preparation to attract major UK investors , public partners, the Diaspora as well increased eco tourism. It looks for ways to more effectively support county efforts: in particular, by bringing together development partners and county authorities together to ensure that future policies and resources are targeted at the right areas.;  Meeting the investors and potential partners during his trip in London the Governor HE Cyprian awiti reiterated to vast needs of both the people and Homa Bay government. recognising the value of integrating health interventions in development policy , including the obstacles to mobilizing private sector resources. However, without the right policies, institutions, and processes, the transactions that follow often fail.

Homa Bay Governor and Team meets and partners with Essex County Council UK

In a race to attract investment Homa Governor Cyprian Awiti has taken an approach to lay firm foundation for sustainable economic development to create wealth for the people of Homa Bay including a capacity building programme for the county assembly that will see an effective working relationships between the county assembly and the executive committee.

Brilliant restaurant to boost spice trade between Kenya and UK Indian supermarkets and  communities in the UK

unique high-grade hand-made pickles and chutneys and our 15 spice Garam Masala recipes created by our grandfather, dating back to over 60 years, now in their third generation. All of our products will be now made  in Homa Bay using the freshest and finest natural ingredients, making these pickles and chutneys one of a kind. We hope you enjoy sharing our products with us’
Picture: The 6 times Award winning  Restaurant owner and HE Cyprian Awiti, Gov Homa Bay County, during his visit to the UK in February14

Addressing the visiting HB team , Bill Cash reminded that although the focus of the visit is on attracting investment, it is important that we don’t lose sight of other important interventions like improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), vaccines and medicines in the fight against child mortality. It is also vital that we recognise the effectiveness of integrating these interventions to provide lasting solutions to development. Bill Cash encouraged the governor to recognise  the value of integrating health interventions in development policy. Bill Cash, demonstrating the strong interest of UK Parliamentarians from all parties in this vital issue. According to UNICEF, diarrhoea is a leading cause of death in children under the age of five. It causes more deaths than AIDS, malaria, and measles

HE Cyprian Awiti having a word with Bill Cash, the Chair of the APPG for Kenya and for Water and Sanitation in the Third World and Agriculture and Food for Development.

Discussion of APPG Kenya Secretariat being established in the Palace of Westminster (POW)
, to build on the excellent work of the APPG Kenya, to foster good relationships between the UK and Kenya through the facilitation of bi-Monthly Plenary Groups hosted in the House of Commons (HOC) for Kenyans in the Diaspora.  Once established, Annual Topics of discussion will be agreed by APPG Kenya’s cross Party Members made up of MPs and Peers and Governors, Senators and MPs, e.g. Education, Health, Water and sanitation, Inward Investment and Trade Missions to Kenya, Tourism, Security, etc

Twining with Essex County Goverment UK

Essex county has agreed to start a long running partnership with Homa Bay county Governemnt to support the development of systems and activities across the HBcounty. Essex county is recognised nationally as having a well run governance and financial systems. This means Homa Bay getting the best out of twinnings and exchanges including a visit by the HomaBay County Assembly team to sit and observe the running of a county assembly in the United and Revenue collection – benchmark
Commenting on his visit at the county assembly, the chair of the Homa Bay county assembly said this was  giving all the county asebly members the best opportunity to learn how to effectively run the assembly learning from a 150 years success in Essex.

Joel Otuoma a picture with the chairwoman of the Essex, County assembly in the UK

...picture of the meeting Chair of Essex County together with Cllr Joe Pike MBE

Cooperation Essex county government and Homa Bay are:
Twining in transitional authority networking and engage in a transitional network activity.
1. Transitional networking with Homa county government has several opportunities for Essex county:

bilateral networking : a commitment to cooperate on such issues and in areas of policy
transitional projects’ they seek EU funding for this.

1. Twinning schools
2. Twinning Hospitals
3. Tourism exchange and promotion activities with a commitment to encourage active eco tourism between the two counties

The key agenda for the devolved government of HomaBay includes complete eradication of Poverty so that its 963,794 people live a healthy and fulfilling life. To that extent, the Governor was  keen to attract investors and partners to support a rigorous programme on agricultural production, fishing, health sector, education, energy, infrastructure and tourism to be the key engines of growth. His Excellency the The governor Cyprian Awiti also recognises the key role that the Homa Bay Diaspora can play in this agenda to invest in Hogmanay county.
A very firm consideration for the factory to for making paper from stone
The governor explained that HBC had CIDP Document – available to guide the investments in the county and other key investment policies were in process of completion. Dialogue to start straight away with follow up vsist of Uk investor to Homa Bay  the aim of closing deals in 3 Months

Meeting with investors

The teams objective now is develop an outward looking strategy on joint needs assessment involving the participation of all actors locally and internationally. Objective was to form investment strategies for the county to create an county Model to translate wealth in the ground into long-term sustainable benefits for the local people
He governor and his team held several other closed discussion with investors in the areas of energy, geothermal,

The governor is also looking to discuss deals with schools of textile in the uk in knowledge transfer partnership that will see Cotton Textile Industrial Cluster – several institution build around. This would then lead to the School of Textiles working with farmers in Homa Bay to add-value to their cotton. They would then train technicians and designers to ensure that Homa Bay adds value to its cotton. The focus would be to focus on organic cotton and support the farmers to own a co-operative that would go into spinning and garment production in Homa Bay. They will also train local young people to be designers with a view of re-cycling some of the imported second clothes into fashion products like handbags and other high value items.

Developement partners meet Gov Cyprian Awiti

Meeting the Michael Lake CBE, Director; the Royal Common Wealth Society And   meeting Siddo Deva, Programme Manager, Comic Relief

AFFORD UK Team at the Diaspora event Directors Onyekachi  Nyambu and Toyin

Other knowledge transfer partnership will see the county send it’s small to medium enterprises for short summer courses on magament and other specialist aes such as climate change and adaptation.

HE Cyprian awiti meets– Dr. Aled Jone, Director , Global Sustainability institute
Develop a programme on Environment Conservation

Short Courses in Capacity Building, Leadership, Sustainability and Entrepreneurialism in Homa Bay County, Kenya

Funding is sought to explore the potential for ARU to deliver short courses in Capacity Building, Leadership, Sustainability and Entrepreneurialism in the County of Homa Bay, Kenya. Courses will (i) build capacity for the local governments to deliver sustainability and entrepreneurialism compatible policies (ii) directly build sustainable entrepreneurialism capacity. Courses will draw on the expertise within Anglia Ruskin, and our associated partners to deliver customised short courses that meet specific local educational requirements.

The following expertise will be drawn upon in the design and delivery of the proposed short courses:
Dr Aled Jones, Director of the Global Sustainability Institute
Catherine Cameron, Visiting Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute
Lester Lloyd Reason1, Professor of International Enterprise Strategy
Ruth Findlay Brooks, Visiting Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute

At another meeting with private investors, HE the governor Cyprian Awiyi and his team discussed investment in fish storage and transport. Said the governor, ‘‘If fish farming and wild fisheries in Homa Bay were allowed to flourish together at their optimum, sustainable levels, the benefit to local employment and economies,  remote fishing communities, would be enormous. The aquaculture will been allowed to expand with limited consideration given to its impact upon the environment or wild fisheries interests’’. Thanks to other investors very keen to work with the governor on containerized solar cooling system;

Innovations in capture fisheries are an imperative for nutrition security in the Hoam Bay county development plan. An impediment to achieving this is that the current research and policy discourses on environmental sustainability of fisheries and food security remain only loosely and superficially linked. Overcoming this requires adoption of a broader sustainability science paradigm to help harness synergies and negotiate tradeoffs between food security, resource conservation, and macroeconomic development goals
At another function the governor attended dinner hosted by the Diaspora from Homa Bay county living in the UK.

‘We are opening a desk for managing the Diaspora and investments’ said the Governor

Participation yet to be agreed but highly likely due to strong existing relationship

The Diaspora are exploring how to fcosc their remittances to infrastrure projects as well as to publicize and promote tourism based on the niches of Homa Bay Ruma Park with soem of the rarest animals and other wonderfull attraction and hot water springs  and Improve linkages with other sectors. The Diaspora of Homa Bay are wll resourced experts and the Governor was overwhelmed with several offers of technical support in areas of ICT, food security, urban planning, education and health. All roads willlead to Homa in August as the HamaBay Dispoara Conference and an effective start of Tourism – with Online Local bookings facilities being planned by the daispoar themselves through a panned ICT infrastructure.  Other specailst fields included doctors and Biotechnologist.

Brilliant restaurant to boost spice trade between Kenya and UK Indian supermarkets and  communities in the UK

A handshake between the ward winning restaurant owner and HE Cyprian Awiti during his visit to the UK in February14
The proposed spice and sweet potatoes trade between Homa Bay and Europe will the main catalyst for the Age of Indian businesses and community in the UK and small holder farming communities in Homa Bay. , initially is expected to create an additional jobs along the supply chain form the farmers, exporters and distributors.
programmes to promote specific Homa Bay agricultural products in the UK
The selected products  chillies, garlic, mangoes, pine apple, sweet potatoes and processed fruit and vegetables, organic products cotton ,
Brilliant top chef, Gulu and has has developed a new collection of quick receipies for the sweet paoatoes using traditional Indian recopies as part of a promotional campaign devised by the Brilliant Restaurant and SACOMA  to boost sales of sweet potatoes

meeting other funders and Investors

On day 4 the Governor and team also met Michael Lake CBE, Director; the Royal Common Wealth Society. To explore ways to Support civil society in Homa Bay as they play a key role in supporting the county Government in social development; and in particular work with young people of homa bay Exchange of periodicals and writing essays, help Identify and encourage young entrepreneurs (talent) that need mentorship

The Governor’s visit is being organised through collaboration between the UK based, Commonwealth accredited organisation BUILD and the Kenyan Diaspora organisation SACOMA. In addition as a Commonwealth accredited organisation BUILD works through Commonwealth institutions to promote community based partnerships across the Commonwealth.
SACOMA is partnering with devolved governments in Kenya to support programmes which can address challenges of acute poverty and governance. SACOMA heavily borrows from the UK systems to extend this learning to the Home Counties in Kenya. and enhance the contribution that Africans in the Diaspora make to Africa's development

 Sacoma team welcomes he Gov


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