Kiambu County, formerly considered to have been a part of Central Kenya, most likely given that the majority of the inhabitants were Kikuyu is currently governed by Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Kiambu, unlike a decade ago when it was considered to be like any other rural town, is an urban town considered to be Nairobi’s, capital city, bedroom as it is a few minutes away drive.
The distance between Nairobi and Kiambu enables its residents to commute to and from on a daily basis with bus fares estimated to be between 50 shillings and 100 shillings.
Considering the congestion experienced in the capital city, Nairobi, and Kiambu’s close location to Nairobi, Kiambu has found itself hosting Kenyans who work in Nairobi.
Kiambu County’s largest town is Thika, actually, Thika is considered larger than Kiambu town which houses the County Government offices.
The issue of where Kiambu County Headquarters is located or should be was a matter in discussion in 2015 when the then Senator Kimani Wamatangi and the then Kabete Member of Parliament, Ferdinand Waititu pushed to have the offices moved from Thika town.
William Kabogo who was the Governor then and in 2015, he bowed to pressure and facilitated the move of the County Headquarter offices from Thika town to Kiambu town.
William Kabogo, however, lost the governorship of the County to Ferdinand Waititu on 26th October 2017 when the Country went to the poll.
The population of Kiambu County has largely grown within the last decade as Nairobi’s congestion began to spill over to its neighbors.
Kiambu County, being adjacent to the northern border of Nairobi County, has a population of 1,623,282 as per the 2009 census which is a decade ago. The population of Kiambu is likely to be double as a decade has passed and within which the County has grown as a residential alternative for Nairobians.
Kiambu County was 40 percent rural and 60 urban in 2009 which owed to Nairobi’s consistent growth Northwards and can be estimated to be at vice versa considering the growth it has experienced within the last decade.
Communities Inhabiting Kiambu County
A decade ago, Kiambu was home to a large majority of the Kikuyu community. Kiambu is today home to diverse communities and has taken into the footsteps of Nairobi.
Though members of the Kikuyu community remain significantly many, it is no longer regarded as a Kikuyu area residents only.
Kiambu, probably given its location, has a great infrastructure network. Basic amenities like the hospitals, schools, banks and public offices are easy to locate.
The road network in Kiambu County prides of a total of 2,033.8 kilometers of roads considered to be of bitumen standards.
Kiambu County has 1,480.2 kilometers under gravel surface and 430.1 kilometers under earth surface easing movement by road in the County.
Major highways such as the Thika-Nairobi and the Eastern Bypass cut across Kiambu County adding to the 131 kilometers of a railway line and four railway stations in Ruiru, Thika, Kikuyu and Limuru towns.
Kiambu County hosts 9 recognized Universities; Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Mt.Kenya University St. Paul’s University, Gretsa University, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Zitech University, Kiriri Women’s Science and Technology University.
The County is home to two campuses; University of Nairobi Kikuyu campus and Kenyatta University, Ruiru campus and a number of tertiary colleges.
Kiambu County has over 300 secondary schools both public and private with the majority being public.
Some of the most notable schools in the County are; Nova Pioneer, Alliance Boys High School, Alliance Girls School, Mangu High School, Loreto Girls High School, Limuru Girls High School, Mary Hill Girls, St Annes’ Lioki Girls amongst others.
Kiambu County has around 1000 primary schools and about 1,595 ECD centers.
Financial Institutions and Investment Opportunities
Kiambu County has 17 commercial banks with branches evenly distributed within the County, eight microfinance institutions, one building society, four village banks, and 12 insurance companies.
The County has 2,517 trading centers, 6,634 registered retail traders and 750 registered wholesale traders.
Investment opportunities in the County are many depending on the sector an investor takes interest in.
Kiambu County relies largely on agriculture to sustain its operations as a County as it enjoys reliable rainfall and fertile soils.
Kiambu not only provides Nairobi residents with a conducive environment to call home but also feeds them! A majority of the fresh fruits and vegetables in Nairobi come from Kiambu County.
Kiambu County could do better with more investors in both crop farming and dairy farming.
Kiambu’s role in providing a home for those that work in the extremely congested Nairobi town can never be overlooked as it has largely affected the price of rent, house ownership and that of land within the County.
Thika, Ruiru, Kiambu, Ruaka, and Kikuyu are ideal places for residents working in Nairobi and rent in these towns is close if not similar to what is paid in the Capital City.
While high demand for affordable housing remains a concern for many, Kiambu is the ideal place for investors when it comes to real estate.
Given the increasing population in Kiambu County with very few and poorly equipped entertainment joints, the County’s entertainment industry is untapped
With the location in mind, a Club or well-equipped restaurant would be an ideal investment.
Untapped Investment Opportunities in Kiambu County
Employment in Kiambu
Kiambu County, just like any other County in the Country, has had its challenges in unemployment and has 902,848 persons who are wage earners and represent 51.6 percent of the total households’ income in the county.
The 51.6 percent are either skilled or unskilled and most of them are employed in coffee plantations, tea farms, industries, quarry sites, and other agricultural farms.
A majority of the population has hence reverted to self-employment which contributes to 31 percent of households’ income in the county.
In rural areas of Kiambu, 157,473 persons are self-employed in the agricultural sector while 384,935 are self-employed in the urban centers with either businesses or small-scale industries.
Unemployment levels in the County stand at 59.2 percent of the total population following a high rate of population growth which is estimated at 2.81 percent while the resources remain the same making it difficult to create more opportunities.
The County Government of Kiambu has a toll order to revive the industries that have failed in the County so as to create opportunities for the people of Kiambu.
Untapped investment opportunities would go a long way in creating employment for the people which would a strategy to eliminate chances of criminal activities in the future.
Kiambu has a lot of potential and ability to supersede its current achievements.
The county leadership led by Governor Waititu is currently faced by investigation of alleged corrupt deals but that does not make it a hotbed for corruption, no, Kiambu is a County with rich investment opportunities that when properly utilized could help decongest Nairobi and create employment for its people.