The department has significantly grown in the last year. It has three sub- departments which correlate. The biggest achievement of the department in the area of trade is where the county government has established Vihiga County community Empowerment Fund (VICOCEF) aimed at benefiting the marginalised, women, youth and small scale traders. The revolving fund will be interest free and will not need any security. The fund will dwell on groups as a guarantee of repayment.
The department has conducted training of local traders on entrepreneurship by conduction a workshop locally, initiated a loan scheme in conjunction with the Joint Loans Board to give loans to traders to a tune of Ksh. 4 Million where Governor Moses Akaranga is to preside over issuing of the loans in a weeks’ time after training of the beneficiaries. We have also identified potential traders in the county and are in the process of training them on investment opportunities before they finally benefit from VICOCEF. On industrialization we have managed to form several associations and SACCO is the county. Two weeks ago the department conducted a Jua Kali Workshop with the theme JUAKALI the driving wheel of Vihiga county economy. The workshop was attended by Juakali trader from all the 5 sub counties.
The Tourism sector which is upcoming steadily in the county has experienced a tremendous growth compared to its state a year ago. We have secured rights to host Miss Tourism Kenya 2015 National Finals, this means the whole nation and the international tourist will converge in the County for the pageantries to demonstrate their talents. Vihiga being the smallest county in the country will ride on the event to market itself globally so that people get to know of investment opportunities and also get to know Vihiga is a safe tourist destination in the whole world not forgetting that Vihiga has the best preserved Cultural practices which are valued. Miss Tourism Vihiga County Edition 2014 will be launched on 22nd of this month in which the winning delegate will represent the county in the National Finals to be held in Nairobi later in the year.
We successfully organised for the Festival of the Hills will be an annual event at the start of a new year , characterized by fire works as a result of this festival various investors have come up including some from Germany who have approached the County Government to develop hotels at the Maragoli Hills to attract Tourists. At the moment the county has started receiving tourists from all over the world who throne sites like Ebusyekwe Hills to meet the rainmakers, Mungoma Caves which is the Origin of the Maragoli community globally and Kibiri Forest where the Tirikis conduct their circumcision ceremony.