Yirgalem Agro-Industrial Park Spurs Local Economy and Boosts Ethiopia’s Exports


YIRGALEM, Ethiopia – The Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park, situated in Ethiopia’s Sidama Region, is reportedly making significant strides in benefiting the local community and bolstering the national economy.



According to Ethiopian News Agency, Hailu Yetera, over 16,000 local citizens have engaged in the supply chain, thanks to the park’s focus on organic dairy, avocado, and coffee processing for both export and import substitution purposes.



The park, which spans 294.5 hectares, has been instrumental in supporting young people in the area by helping them prepare seedlings, including avocado, to supply local farmers. Hailu highlighted that the park is committed to enhancing the surrounding community’s livelihood through various development projects, such as honey production, educational facilities, healthcare services, and the provision of potable water.



Since its inauguration three years ago, the Yirgalem Integrated Agro-Industrial Park has generated 15.5 million USD from exporting edible oil derived from avocado pulp. Additionally, the park has contributed to saving approximately 14 million USD by adding value to milk and other agricultural products for the domestic market. These efforts are part of Ethiopia’s broader initiative to develop Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks to foster rural transformation and agricultural advancement.



The establishment of three Rural Transformation Centers (RTCs) within a 100-kilometer radius of the park—at Bensa Daye, Aletawondo, and Morocho—further underscores this initiative. These RTCs not only support inclusive rural development but also provide essential linkages between local farmers and the Yirgalem Park, facilitating their entry into commercial agricultural value chains.

Garissa Hospital Faces Serious Challenges, County Assembly Committee Finds


GARISSA—A surprise visit by the Garissa County Assembly Health Committee to the Garissa County referral hospital has exposed significant shortcomings in service delivery, prompting calls for urgent action. The visit, conducted on Friday, was in response to recent public complaints and allegations by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei regarding the hospital’s deteriorating condition.



According to Kenya News Agency, the hospital is grappling with funding shortages, demotivated staff, non-functional medical equipment, and overcrowding in wards. It was revealed that the facility has not received medical supplies from the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) since October of the previous year, forcing patients to seek medication from private entities. Additionally, critical equipment in the renal and theatre departments is out of service, with only two of six Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds operational.



Committee Chair Adan Hassan Odowa highlighted that despite authorizing the hospital to utilize its generated revenue, the county executive has not granted it financial autonomy. Nominated MCA Khadija Idriss expressed concern over the discrepancy between the revenue collected by the hospital, amounting to Sh155.7 million in the 2022/2023 financial year, and the significantly lower allocation of Sh33.5 million from the expected Sh144 million from the county treasury.



Idriss also pointed out the lack of support for the hospital’s dedicated staff, who have not received promotions since 2015 and are working without essential allowances and with faulty equipment. Meanwhile, Bariki ward MCA Hassan Geley acknowledged some improvements in service delivery and financial accountability but criticized the hospital’s administrative management. He urged the county administration to expedite the procurement of new CT scans, ICU, and renal equipment and questioned the delay in medical drug supplies from KEMSA.



The committee’s findings call for a comprehensive review and immediate interventions to address the financial, operational, and administrative issues hindering the hospital’s ability to provide quality healthcare services to the residents of Garissa County.

Nyanza Government Officials Launch Bursary for Needy StudentsAgoro Sare High School Duo Wins Scholarships to Lindsey Wilson College in the USA

NYANZA – In an effort to bolster educational access in the Nyanza region, top officials from the Kenya Kwanza government have unveiled a bursary fund aimed at assisting bright but financially challenged students.

According to Kenya News Agency, the announcement made during the bursary’s launch at Ambira High School in Ugunja sub-county, Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo detailed that the new fund would augment existing bursary schemes facilitated by the government and various non-governmental organizations.

This educational support initiative is part of the Kenya Kwanza government’s broader commitment to enhance educational opportunities for Kenyan children, with specific directives from the President to senior government officials to prioritize educational support. CS Owalo, alongside Principal Secretary for Interior and National Administration Dr. Raymond Omollo, participated in subsequent activities at Ruma Secondary School in Rarieda, where they contributed a school bus and inaugurated a digital hub. Owalo emphasized that the bursary scheme reflects a broader agenda of community service and leadership.

The scheme promises annual disbursements, with each of the four Nyanza counties—Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, and Siaya—set to establish similar funds. At the Ambira launch event, CS Owalo donated Sh1.5 million to support the education of 100 students from Siaya County, highlighting the scheme’s immediate impact.

Former Rarieda Member of Parliament Nicholas Gumbo lauded the initiative, urging stakeholders to support such beneficial programs. Gumbo emphasized the significance of these initiatives in rural areas, where families often struggle with the escalating costs of education. This new bursary is envisioned to substantially alleviate these financial burdens, enabling more children to pursue their educational aspirations.

PS Raymond Omollo underscored the importance of hard work and excellence among students, urging beneficiaries to leverage this support to achieve academic success, thereby reciprocating the investment made in their futures by leaders and their families.

AGORO SARE – In a significant boost to their academic and athletic aspirations, two students from Agoro Sare High School have been awarded full scholarships to Lindsey Wilson College in the United States.



According to Kenya News Agency, James Omollo and Vincent Rapudo caught the eye of talent scout Sicelo Buthelezi during a soccer match hosted by the school, which was part of a tri-school sporting event involving Agoro Sare, Gendia High School from Homa Bay County, and Kisumu Boys from Kisumu County.



The event, supported by the Eliud Owalo Foundation, featured several dignitaries, including former Harambee Stars player James Goro Orongo and coach Gerrald Omollo, who emphasized the importance of balancing educational pursuits with sports excellence. Their message underscored the belief in the transformative power of sports and education combined.



According to Kenya News Agency, The soccer match, which lasted for 270 minutes, showcased the skills of students from the participating schools, culminating in Agoro Sare and Gendia High School drawing in the final match. The engagement was not only about competition but also served as a platform for talent discovery, as evidenced by the scholarships awarded by the Lindsey Wilson College in the USA.



The Eliud Owalo Foundation, instrumental in organizing the event, affirmed its commitment to identifying and nurturing talent, providing opportunities for students to excel both academically and in sports. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to support talented students, promising more scholarships for those demonstrating outstanding abilities.

Nyanza Government Officials Launch Bursary for Needy Students

NYANZA – In an effort to bolster educational access in the Nyanza region, top officials from the Kenya Kwanza government have unveiled a bursary fund aimed at assisting bright but financially challenged students.

According to Kenya News Agency, the announcement made during the bursary’s launch at Ambira High School in Ugunja sub-county, Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo detailed that the new fund would augment existing bursary schemes facilitated by the government and various non-governmental organizations.

This educational support initiative is part of the Kenya Kwanza government’s broader commitment to enhance educational opportunities for Kenyan children, with specific directives from the President to senior government officials to prioritize educational support. CS Owalo, alongside Principal Secretary for Interior and National Administration Dr. Raymond Omollo, participated in subsequent activities at Ruma Secondary School in Rarieda, where they contributed a school bus and inaugurated a digital hub. Owalo emphasized that the bursary scheme reflects a broader agenda of community service and leadership.

The scheme promises annual disbursements, with each of the four Nyanza counties—Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, and Siaya—set to establish similar funds. At the Ambira launch event, CS Owalo donated Sh1.5 million to support the education of 100 students from Siaya County, highlighting the scheme’s immediate impact.

Former Rarieda Member of Parliament Nicholas Gumbo lauded the initiative, urging stakeholders to support such beneficial programs. Gumbo emphasized the significance of these initiatives in rural areas, where families often struggle with the escalating costs of education. This new bursary is envisioned to substantially alleviate these financial burdens, enabling more children to pursue their educational aspirations.

PS Raymond Omollo underscored the importance of hard work and excellence among students, urging beneficiaries to leverage this support to achieve academic success, thereby reciprocating the investment made in their futures by leaders and their families.

Machakos Governor Encourages Women to Pursue Elective Offices


MACHAKOS – Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti has issued a call to action for women to actively seek elective positions rather than relying on nominations by political parties. During an event at the Mavoko subcounty headquarters on Saturday, where she distributed bursary cheques to nominated female Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), Governor Ndeti emphasized the importance of women’s participation in politics and the need for them to compete alongside male candidates in general elections.



According to Kenya News Agency, the challenge of misogyny, insults, and sometimes violence in the political arena should not deter women from aspiring to leadership positions. She highlighted that such adversities are part of the political landscape but should not discourage women from pursuing their ambitions. Governor Ndeti pointed out that despite these challenges, there has been a noticeable increase in the electorate’s confidence in women’s leadership, especially since the introduction of devolution in Kenya in 2013.



She noted the progressive increase in the number of women elected as governors, from none in 2013 to three in 2017, and seven in the 2022 General Election. This trend, according to Governor Ndeti, indicates a growing acceptance and support for female leaders among voters. However, she also acknowledged that Kenya still lags behind other East African nations in terms of women’s representation in leadership and stressed the need to close this gender gap.



Governor Ndeti’s remarks underscore the evolving political landscape in Kenya, where women are increasingly seen as capable leaders who can contribute significantly to the country’s development. Her call to action aims to inspire more women to overcome the barriers to their participation in politics and to strive for elective posts, marking a step towards gender parity in Kenyan governance.