PUBLISHED ON September 21st, 2023

State lures Dutch investors to its infrastructure projects

In Summary

  • Transport CS told the delegates Kenya is eager for innovations and technology
  • He touted youthful population, emerging middle class and raft of areas to invest in

The government has invited Dutch companies to take advantage of massive infrastructural developments and invest in the country.

Speaking at Fair View Hotel on Monday, Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen said Kenya is the largest and the most advanced economy in East and Central Africa.

It has strong growth prospects supported by an emerging urban middle class and an increasing appetite for high-value goods and services, he said.

“Kenya is open for business to well-positioned companies with strategic objectives of tapping into the growing potential of emerging markets in East and Central Africa,” Murkomen said.

The CS was addressing Dutch delegates from 17 companies keen to invest in maritime/port development, logistics and the blue economy.

Murkomen said Kenya’s investment climate is the strongest in the EAC, with Foreign Director Investment (FDI) flowing in from emerging and developed markets and a high number of multinational companies with regional and continent-wide presence.

“Further, Kenya is a member of trade arrangements and a beneficiary of trade promotion schemes that include Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), World Trade Organisation and EAC-EU Trade Agreement,” Murkomen said.

“It is also a member of East Africa Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) that will soon be a Tripartite-Free Trade Area (FTA) cooperation, creating a potential market of more than 600 million people.”

Murkomen told the delegates that Kenya is a young country, with a sizeable youth population eager for new ideas, innovations, investments and the technology.

“It has the most educated and skilled population, that largely speaks good English and is well recognised regionally and internationally.”

Murkomen said the country is firmly interconnected through a network of roads, railways, ports, airports, waterways and telecommunications.

He said Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is among the  busiest in Africa, while the port of Mombasa not only serves the land-linked countries of Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo but also Somalia and Tanzania.

Murkomen said the state continues to implement projects aimed at improving connectivity across the country and decongesting cities and urban areas.

Such projects include the standard gauge railway, he said. He committed to constructing the remaining phases of the SGR (phase 2B and 2C) to extend to Kisumu and Malaba border.

“We are currently working with the Government of Uganda to connect the standard gauge railway to Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.

“This development will be integrated with development of logistics hubs and industrial parks.  This development is open to private investments.”

Murkomen said there are plans to expand and improve the airport infrastructure to facilitate efficient and effective passenger handling at all airports.

He said JKIA will in the near future be opened to investment through Public Private Partnership for expansion of its terminal capacity.

Murkomen said the state will continue to invest heavily in improving port handling capacity at Mombasa port and port of Lamu, revamping the lake ports and other smaller sea ports to support the Blue Economy.

He said the port of Mombasa has since been expanded through the construction of the Second Container Terminal.

Murkomen said the first two phases of this project increased the capacity of the port by 1,000,000 TEUs, effectively doubling its capacity to two million TEUs.

The CS said the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Programme is on course.

He said the project will create jobs, enhance manufacturing and offer knowledge transfer for more than 500 million people in Africa.

Murkomen said the first three Berths of Lamu Port have been operationalised and were completed at a cost of Sh76 billion.

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