ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the Akmola Region on Feb. 14 to review its agricultural, medical, and educational facilities, the Akorda press service reported.
Agriculture and machine industry in Kokshetau
Tokayev visited the Kazakhstan Agro-Innovative Corporation in Kokshetau, which produces up to 3,000 units of agricultural machinery per year and employs 300 people. Over the last three years, the corporation produced over 6,500 equipment items worth 121 billion tenge (US$269 million).
The production site has an additional warehouse and administrative building, while two new production blocks are nearing completion. Robotic welding and milling machines and other equipment were purchased from Europe and South Korea.
The region witnessed a 2.6-fold surge in the output of the manufacturing industry in five years, said Akmola Region Akim (Governor) Yermek Marzhikpayev.
Mechanical engineering has increased by 3.2 times, and agricultural machinery production by 6.9 times. The sector received investments of 3 billion tenge ($6.6 million) in 2022.
Speaking with the heads of Akmola region’s machine-building enterprises, Tokayev stressed the importance of producing quality products and promised the government would continue to assist the industry.
Medical and educational facilities in Kokshetau
The next stop on Tokayev’s itinerary in Kokshetau was the Viamedis Kokshetau Clinical and Rehabilitation Clinic. Opened in May and built under a public-private partnership mechanism, it is the country’s first center for the comprehensive rehabilitation of stroke patients.
The polyclinic’s inpatient rehabilitation department has over 100 beds, and the day-patient facility has 46 beds. It accommodates 20,000 people. The medical staff includes 235 people.
There are 560 healthcare facilities in the region, employing over 7,800 medical workers. Over the last three years, the scarcity of medical workers has been reduced by half. In the region, 80 units of medical equipment worth 1.4 billion tenge (US$3.1 million) were purchased.
Outpatient clinics are expected to be opened in the region’s 38 rural areas as part of the national project on modernizing rural healthcare. The Kazakh Healthcare Ministry is working with a foreign investor to build a modern multipurpose hospital for 630 beds in Kokshetau.
In Kokshetau, the President also visited the Academy of Civil Protection, the country’s only university that provides emergency training. The President emphasized that the civil protection system requires ongoing modernization. Embracing the finest world experience and incorporating current technologies while focusing on quality rescuer training is essential, he said.
Tokayev also stressed the importance of emergency workers. He expressed his gratitude to Kazakh rescuers and doctors, including 18 employees from the Akmola region, who are in Türkiye, helping those in need in Turkish cities after the devastating earthquake.
The academy, which prepares nearly 150 officers each year, will soon allocate quotas for citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to study at the universities as part of the intergovernmental agreements.
Agriculture and socially important facilities of Stepnogorsk
While in the region, Tokayev also visited Stepnogorsk, a small town of nearly 50,000 people, where he met with residents, who shared their concerns about the state of a local thermal power plant and heating networks, both of which were on the President’s itinerary.
Heat supply problems are common in Stepnogorsk. Tokayev instructed First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar to address them with the region’s administration.
The region’s only thermal power plant is located in Stepnogorsk, according to the region’s governor Marzhikpayev. Boiler equipment, however, is worn out by an average of 50 percent, with nine heat sources already in operation for more than 50 years.
Environmental issues are also of concern for local residents, namely the storage of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste in their city. Responding to residents’ concerns, Tokayev said he supports the proposed solution of building a mini recycling center.
The region is a leader in agriculture, producing a quarter of the country’s grain crops and considerable quantities of vegetables and poultry meat.
While in Stepnogorsk, Tokayev visited the Greenhouse Technologies of Kazakhstan complex that plans to grow eggplant and strawberries in 2023 with 4.8 billion tenge ($10.6 million) in investments.
During a meeting with the region’s agricultural producers, Tokayev emphasized that the government would continue to support domestic entrepreneurs and would look into new ways to conclude mutually beneficial partnerships.
He also met with the region’s top businesses to discuss current issues and the potential for further economic development.
Tokayev’s next stop in Stepnogorsk was a specialized children’s and youth sports school that offers boxing, freestyle wrestling, weightlifting, judo, rhythmic gymnastics, football, ski racing, and sambo classes to 1,140 students.