Barclays Bank Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank of Kenya, Equity Bank, Family Bank, Post Bank are among those running branches at Bungoma that offer forex services.
The Internet, e-mail, telephone and fax guaranteeing business operators access to the rest of the world at the touch of a button link the town to the rest of the world.
Bungoma has a developed airstrip which handles chartered small aircraft and helicopters flying in visitors, but is also only an hour and a half away from both the Eldoret International and Kisumu airports by road that handle regular local flights to the Kenyan capital-Nairobi from where passengers can connect international flights.
Land set aside for a new airstrip is available and a partnership with local entrepreneurs could yield a new one to ease air links with other cities in the Great Lakes region. Still one can access the planned Tororo International Airport in Eastern Uganda from Bungoma in less than one hour by road.
Its location along the Kenya –Uganda railway line and the Great North Road linking the East African Capitals, the port of Mombasa and the rest of Africa ease any investor’s bulky goods transportation woes.
A multi- million Silo Complex and conventional stores owned by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) with storage capacity of 830,000 metric tones in the rich agricultural hinterland make the town potential centre for flour milling, rice milling, as viable investment options.
Blessed with favourable climatic conditions, (long rains between March and July and short rains between August and October) that support a large variety of agro produce, cottage industries adding value to such produce are another option. The average annual rainfall ranges between 1250 mm to 1800 mm. Dairy farming is one of the key economic activities revolving around agro- production making processing of milk and manufacture of milk products a venture worth spending money on. Milk supply outstrips the capacity of the Kitinda Farmers Cooperative society dairy plant.
Another area worth venturing into is the processing of banana wine, tomatoes given the high production of both crops in the district and neighbouring Mt Elgon district .For those keen on the tourism sector, the Mt Elgon national park has big game and bird life where as the Mt Elgon crater, extinct many years ago is an attractive feature for those plying the western circuit now emerging from a slump as is the majestic Webuye falls near the Pan African Paper Mills factory, just 20 minutes drive from Bungoma Town. The water falls’ potential to generate hydro-electric power is yet to be exploited and for those with financial capacity, this is one sure investment which cannot go wrong given the rising demand for electricity in Kenya.
Investment opportunities are also teeming in the sugar industry-generation of hydro-electric power, at Nzoia Sugar factory where by-products, molasses, and bagasse await exploitation. Indeed sugar production has exceeded the crushing capacity of the factory that a new partnership is being sought to enable it crash excess cane now standing at 350, 000 metric tones a year.
Cotton ginning with the planned revival of cotton growing in Bungoma West and Bungoma South districts along with the manufacture of animal feeds are others awaiting exploitation from astute investors.
Booming population guarantees availability of cheap labour- a key factor of production that ensures low cost production and high returns on investment portfolios for those investing in Bungoma where availability of water and electric power are guaranteed all year round.
Manufacture of paper based packaging materials is a venture worth considering with the Pan African Paper Mills factory in Webuye only a stone’s throw away. Nevertheless, agro forestry initiatives, dairying, poultry and pig farming, oil palm growing are projects around Bungoma that may attract large-scale investments fast.
The Municipal Council of Bungoma, Kenya Industrial Estates are bodies that would facilitate quick take off development initiative and financial institutions would readily avail credit to support the ventures.
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has started a campus at Sangalo Institute on the outskirts of Bungoma Town from where high level training and research programmes are poised to take off. Already, Moi University is partnering with Sacred Africa and is offering advanced courses at Siritanyi Wycliffee Centre where the Anglican Church of Kenya also runs theology courses. With the establishment last year of Kibabii Diploma Teachers Training College whose construction will take sh 1.7 billion, two private teacher-training colleges and the government run Mabanga Farmers Training Centre, Bungoma is emerging as a top educational centre.
All these mobile telephony service providers cover all parts of Kenya. A fourth company, Econet is poised to plunge into the market. Internet services are available at a number of leading cyber cafes in town.
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