Machakos County, nicknamed ‘Macha,’ was the first capital city of Kenya and now, it is an administrative county in Kenya. Machakos has eight (8) constituencies including Machakos Town, Mavoko, Masinga, Yatta, Kangundo, Kathiani, Matungulu, and Mwala. Machakos Town is the administrative capital of the county.
Machakos County borders Nairobi and Kiambu counties to the West, Embu to the North, Kitui to the East, Makueni to the South, Kajiado to the South West, and Murang’a and Kirinyaga to the North West. Machakos County stretches from latitudes 0º 45’ South to 1º 31’ South and longitudes 36° 45’ East to 37° 45’ East. The county has an altitude of 1000 – 1600 meters above sea level.
It has a Total Population of 1,098,584 people, 264,500 Households and covers an area of 6,208 SQ. KM. The Population density is 177 persons per SQ. KM. The Akamba people are the dominant habitants of Machakos County.
The local climate is semi arid with a hilly terrain covering most parts of the county. The beautiful hilly scenery is perfect for tourist related activities such as camping, hiking safaris, ecotourism and cultural tourism, dance and music festivals among many more. A number of establishments ensure the region has a well rounded hospitality industry.
Subsistence agriculture is practiced with Maize and drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and millet being grown. However, the County also plays host to the open air market concept with major market days where large amounts of produce are traded. Fruits, vegetables and other food stuffs like maize and beans are sold in these markets.
The county has been selected as the home to the upcoming Konza Technology City due to its proximity to Nairobi, good infrastructure and availability of massive chunks of land. Machakos County, Nairobi’s Eastern neighbour, is home to important industrial and residential centers like Athi River and Mlolongo. Sadly, the developments do not extend to most parts of the huge county, but that is about to change when a planned technology city development is finalized.
Down the road from the junction town of Makutano ya Chumvi will be what is billed as the continent’s first techie city. Built to the book, it will become the world’s third IT magnet after Silicon Valley in California, USA, and Bangalore in Eastern India. This project will attract talent from all over the world through a range of incentives, and it is planned to have state-of-the-art shopping facilities as well as a university.
Some of the strengths in the county are:
Closeness to Nairobi County which is the capital city of the country
Availability of massive Arable Land
Strong Gender Supporting NGOs
Well endowed with natural capital including livestock, minerals, wild game, tourists attraction sites, rangeland and space
A resilient local community with developed mechanism of survival
Besides Konza Techno City, the county government also has an ambitious master-plan that will see the face of the county lifted by the envisioned planned Machakos City that will be adjacent to Machakos Town. Plans for the ground breaking ceremony are underway after investors expressed a lot of interest and Memorandums’ of Understanding signed.
What all these will do in the end is create a modern economic centre with a cosmopolitan outlook whose impact on the country, Africa and the world is massive. Machakos will obviously become the biggest beneficiary as the home county. Already, the benefits are being felt around the site in Konza, where land prices have reached a record high.
The county government under the able leadership of the visionary, youthful and energetic Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua has set pace in county governance and was the first to constitute his cabinet. It was also the first county to hold one of its kind investor’s conference that saw investors from different parts of the world participate in the multi sectoral event and identify areas of investment. By day two of the conference, Ksh.56.3 billion was already pledged.
With all these happening within a very short period of the county government’s existence, it has truly won the hearts and minds of many and its now regarded as the trend setter in county governance.