Keeping Your Business in Mind

Government Ministries Sign Pacts, Woo Japan to Invest in Kenya

Kenya’s Ministries of Trade and Investments, Roads and Transport and that of Energy through Cabinet Secretaries Rebecca Miano, Kipchumba Murkomen and Davis Chirchir respectively have appealed to Japanese investors to consider trading with and investing in Kenya.

The Cabinet Secretaries fronted the country as having the largest economy in East Africa thus a perfect gateway to the region.

The Cabinet Secretaries in the three ministries spoke during the State visit by President William Ruto in Japan. In unison, the trio said Kenya has been rated as the 29th fastest-growing economy in the world further pushing it up the ladder as an excellent economic hub.

“Kenya has been rated number 1 in Africa in terms of human quality capital,” CS Rebecca Miano said. According to CS Miano, Kenya remains a gateway for anyone who wishes to invest in Africa. The CS added that the country had made strides in areas of green energy among others. Some of the areas in which Miano appealed the investors to venture are in manufacturing and technology.

On his part, Kenya’s President Dr. William Samoei Ruto said the implementation of the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) has opened up numerous opportunities in the agriculture, manufacturing and technology value chains.

He noted that the partnerships with Japan would yield a win-win outcome, with Japanese companies gaining access to Kenya’s highly skilled workforce in need of opportunities.

‘We want your manufacturing exploits in Kenya to have local content and utilise our skilled workforce. In turn, this will create job opportunities for our young people,” said the Kenya Head of State.

In manufacturing, CS Miano said Kenya has potential in areas of automotive and e-mobility, textile and apparel as well as electronics.

Already, Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer Toyota Tsusho Corporation is set to establish a vehicle manufacturing plant in the country. This comes after Kenya and Toyota signed a framework agreement for collaboration in vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy development.
President William Ruto, who witnessed the signing of the agreements, said the move will bolster Kenya’s industrial sector, strengthen Kenya-Japan ties and expand opportunities for Kenyans.

“We must have a balance between the number of imported and newly manufactured vehicles,” President William Samoei Ruto said.

At the same time, through the ministry of Energy represented by Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, Kenya signed a Ksh15 billion deal with Japan for Meru Wind Farm Energy, Ksh8 billion for Isiolo Solar Energy, and Ksh75 billion for Menengai Geothermal Plant. These, according to the CS will further improve the efficiency of the power generating agencies and contribute significantly to the national grid.

CS Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen

Overall, financial agreements worth KSh350 billion have been signed during President William Ruto’s visit to Japan. These agreements will support projects and programmes in sectors that are aimed at turning around the economic fortunes of the country.

The largest projects to benefit are the Dongo Kundu Infrastructure Ecosystem and the Mombasa Gateway Bridge at the Coast at KSh260 billion which was signed by Cabinet Secretary for Transport Kipchumba Murkomen.

Kenya’s President William Ruto and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also agreed that Kenya will issue a KSh40 billion Samurai bond in Japan to finance energy and infrastructure projects.

A Samurai bond is a yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese company. The bond is, however, subject to Japanese regulations. Kenya also secured KSh30 billion from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to purchase heavy machinery and mechanised assets.

Further, the Olkaria Geothermal Development Project will get KSh15 billion. Japan will also provide KSh1 billion for the production of medical oxygen for various hospitals.

Through the United Nations, Kenya will receive KSh320 million humanitarian aid for those affected by the recent El Nino-related floods. Other agreements include MoUs on cooperation in the ICT, health, finance and security sectors.

President Ruto while speaking on the sidelines of the bilateral agreements said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will include enhancing the capacity of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to build on its pandemic management potential at a cost of KSh3 billion.

To strengthen the partnership between the two countries in defence, an agreement on Defence Cooperation was also signed. This makes Kenya the first African country to sign a defence pact with Japan.

The President also acknowledged Japan’s support for the completion of Phase II of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme and the National Rice Masterplan.

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