Kenya’s Investment Promotion Efforts Secure The Support of UNDP & World Bank on FDI Attraction

NAIROBI, 17th NOVEMBER 2023… The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), World Bank and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) have today announced a new partnership to develop and implement an InvestmentFacilitation Framework and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Attraction Strategy. The framework is aimed at creating a transparent, predictable, efficient and trusted mechanism for effective investment facilitation. Speaking during launch of the partnership in Nairobi, Hon. Rebecca Miano, MBS the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry(MITI), lauded the partnership arguing that it will make it easier for investors to invest, conduct their business and expand their operations in Kenya. She further added, that through the partnership Kenya will streamline procedures related to domestic and foreign investor attraction and also improve coordination and cooperation among actors in the investment cycle. The Minister lauded the role played by the National Investment Council (NIC)a body mandated with providing an overarching coordination mechanism to support the growth of investment in Kenya and for working tirelessly with the Secretariat to conceptualize the Investment Facilitation Framework. “We have set a target as a Country to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)to a tune of USD 10Bn. To unlock Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and position Kenya as a competitive investment destination, the National InvestmentCouncil through its Secretariat, Kenya Investment Authority has developed anInvestment Facilitation Framework with a view to creating a Transparent,Predictable, Efficient and Trusted Mechanism”, said, Hon. Rebecca Miano, CS,MITI. Through the partnership the Government will leverage on the UNDP’s global network to implement the framework as well as work with them as a project manager to support the key priority areas that including: Legislative and regulatory reforms to remove barriers to investment attraction; Investment Facilitation Framework, including design and operationalization of an Investor Facilitation Platform; and Institutional capacity development including organization review and development of a strategy to strengthen KenyaInvestment Authority. Speaking during the meeting, Mr. Anthony Ngororano, UNDP, ResidentRepresentative said, ‘as a key partner in Kenya’s development journey, we are gearing up for a collaboration with KenInvest. Together, we aim to remove barriers to investment and strengthen the investment facilitation journey.” “We shall support the Government through the Kenya Investment Authority to provide practical measures aimed at improving transparency and predictability on the investment climate in Kenya, said Ms. Elizabeth Elizabeth Kibaki-Obiero, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank. The Cabinet Secretary further added that the Ministry is looking to review legal framework to anchor the organization “We are keen to review some of the laws and policies that have been overtaken by the changing times to make it easier for investors both foreign and domestic to tap the various business opportunities that we have across Kenya for both the benefit of our economyand the interests of the investors,” Miano said. Some of the legislations on investment promotion were enacted in 2004 and need to be aligned with the Constitution of 2010 that established the devolved system of governance and did away with local authorities. “We have kicked off the review of the Investment Promotion Act 2004 to align with the Constitution and to make it responsive to the dynamic nature of the globe as well as domestic investment environment that continues to present new challenges”, Miano added. On her part Ms June Chepkemei, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya InvestmentAuthority indicated that the partnership will be supported by a robust strategic plan under development.“ We have made progress with regard to our strategy development covering our next growth cycle of 2023/24 – 2027/28. This strategic plan, prepared under the theme of “Spearheading Equitable Investment-Led EconomicTransformation” ties in closely with our current focus areas as a government, and has been developed under four main pillars, namely, Targeted InvestmentPromotion, Harmonization of Investment Facilitation, Research & PolicyAdvocacy and Building of an Exemplary Investment Promotion Agency” saidJune Chepkemei, CEO, KenInvest. The Investment Facilitation Framework will be a great enabler for sustainable development by facilitating attraction and retention of Foreign DirectInvestments (FDI); enhancing the quality of FDI in the light of national strategies; growing Domestic Direct Investments (DDI); and enhancing international cooperation. See the Press Release  

Polish – Kenya Business Forum

Nairobi, October 24, 2023 – The Inaugural Polish-Kenya Business Forum organized by The Kenya Embassy in Poland, in collaboration with the PolishInvestment & Trade Agency and the Kenya Investment Authority was held today as a commitment to catalyze trade, investment deals and partnerships in an effort to foster shared prosperity for both nations. More than 400 business and Government representatives from both countries participated in the Forum to explore trade and investment opportunities in the country. During the Forum, two major investment deals were successfully signed. Key highlights of the deals include: Deal 1: Dig Iin Vision + Toolkit Skills and Innovation Hub have agreed to a strategic partnership- on technology transfer in Virtual Reality (VR) welding technology from Poland towards improving vocational training in Kenya. This technology will help many young Kenya to acquire skills they need to succeed in the digital age. The technology uses VR welding simulator solutions that are not only environmentally friendly but also ensure the safety of the learners. This agreement is expected to create jobs for the Kenyan youth and women in the profession. Deal 2: MDN Systems Ltd and Tatu City Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding for the set up of an aluminum factory for modern buildings (both residential and commercial) at Tatu City in Kenya. The products will include windows, doors, facades, shop windows, winter gardens, terrace covers, skylights, external glazing, facade roller blinds, facade shutters. Speaking during the Forum, Abubakar H. Abubakar, Principal Secretary, StateDepartment for Investment Promotion assured the Polish investors that Kenya is a secure, competitive and profitable market for investment. These deals mark a significant milestone and demonstration of the confidence thatPolish investors have in the Kenyan business ecosystem, said Mrs. Sally Mahihu,Chairperson, Kenya Investment Authority Press Release – Kenya – Poland Forum  

Showfa Unveils Commission Free Online Taxi Services In Nairobi

Ride-sharing startup Showfa has unveiled a commission-free app for cab drivers in Nairobi. The company seeks to compete with firms such as Bolt, Uber, Little Cab, inDriver, and Wasili, among others. It claims that its services are distinct from those of its competitors because it does not charge drivers commissions, which operators have previously complained about, and it also provides low fares for passengers as well as ambulance services. “We understand that the current economic climate has made it difficult for many drivers to make ends meet, which is why we are proud to offer our zero-commission platform,” the firm said in a statement. “This means that drivers will not be charged any commission on their earnings, enabling them to earn more and put more money back into their pockets.” Last year, ride-sharing platform Uber Kenya cut the commission charged to drivers per trip from 25 percent to 18 percent,  barely a week after drivers staged demonstrations. The reductions came after the firm received a transport network licence from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to operate in Kenya. “Drivers and riders are suffering because of the exorbitant commissions that must be paid to the existing cab hailing companies,” it added. “Drivers and riders use their cars & bikes, fuel, and end up working for endless with little to show for it. We are here to fix the problem.” Source: Capital FM Kenya.

EU Vows To Boost Investment In Kenya To Strengthen Ties

The European Union said Tuesday that it would increase its investments in Kenya by hundreds of millions of dollars, looking to bolster ties in the face of competition from China.  The deals will unlock “untapped potential to be uncovered and exploited,” the EU ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, said at the start of a two-day business forum in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The agreements include a $200 million pledge by the European Investment Bank to help the Trade and Development Bank, run by several African states, support companies in eastern and southern Africa affected by the war in Ukraine. Africa has become a diplomatic battleground between Russia and the West since the invasion of Ukraine, with the EU also taking steps to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative to fund infrastructure projects in developing nations. Geiger said the new deals are part of the EU’s Global Gateway initiative, which seeks to mobilize up to $340 billion to support public and private infrastructure ventures around the world by 2027. “This strategy is a template how Europe can build more resilient connections with the world to tackle the most pressing global challenges,” she said. An economic powerhouse of east Africa, Kenya is seen by the international community as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region. Currently, the EU is the largest export destination for Kenyan products, including flowers, and Kenya’s third-largest source of imports. France’s Trade Minister Olivier Becht, who attended the conference, told AFP that his country would contribute 30 million euros ($32 million) for the construction of eight sports facilities in Kenya. “There is a part for every investor who wants to participate in Kenya’s economic growth,” Becht said. “It is not a competition between French companies or Chinese companies to do more.” Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project, a $5 billion railway line connecting Nairobi to the port city of Mombasa, which opened in 2017, was built by a Chinese company with Chinese financing. In 2020, a French consortium won a 1.6 billion euro deal to build and operate a highway linking Nairobi and Mau Summit in western Kenya, but the project was halted by Kenyan President William Ruto last year over toll fees, according to media reports. Becht said he discussed the project with Ruto on Tuesday, adding that further talks were expected, but he declined to provide specifics. “Kenya seeks a win-win relationship that drives economic growth,” Ruto said on Twitter after the meeting. “Our relations with France are anchored on this principle across trade, energy, health and infrastructure.” The EU last year invited 40 African leaders to Brussels for a two-day summit aimed at rebooting ties through investment. Source: Capital FM Kenya.

AfDB gives funding for four-lane Kisumu-Uganda expressway

The East African Community (EAC) has received Sh175.4 million (USD1.4 million) for a feasibility study on building a four-lane expressway for Kisumu to Uganda through Busia in an upgrade targeted to boost regional integration, trade and economic development. The funds from the African Development Bank (AfDB) will be used to assess the viability of the 256km road that will terminate in Kakira—a town in Uganda’s border district of Jinja. The road is part of improvements on the Northern Corridor, a key trader route in East Africa providing landlocked countries like Uganda with faster access to the port of Mombasa. “The funding from the African Development Bank would be used to conduct feasibility studies on the 256km multinational Kisumu-Kisian-Busia/Kakira-Malaba-Busitema-Busia expressway project,” said EAC Deputy Secretary General for Planning and Infrastructure Steven Mlote in a statement. “The proposed intervention in this segment consists of the rehabilitation of the existing road two-lane single carriageway to bitumen standard while upgrading it to a two-lane double carriageway along 104 km.” The 104km four-lane stretch will run from Kisian in Kisumu to Busia border town. The project will see the construction of an 11km link road between Kisian and Kisumu bypass. Another 127 km will be built between Jinja and Malaba, which will be connected to a 20km stretch that will run along the border to Busia. The high-speed highway will be the continuation of the $1.48 billion Kampala-Jinja expressway, which is expected to be completed by 2025. A private concessionaire will be procured for a period of 30 years including an eight-year construction period on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer basis under a PPP model, where motorists will be expected to pay a toll to access the Kampala expressway. It is not clear whether the four-lane expressway from Kisumu to Uganda will be a toll road. The roads form part of the Mombasa–Nairobi–Kampala–Kigali expressway which was given a high priority at the 4th EAC Heads of States Retreat on Infrastructure Development held in February 2018 in Kampala. The goal is to cut the cost of transport and boost trade. East Africa now boasts some of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, with inefficient transport often seen as one of the major obstacles to expanding businesses. The Mombasa port is a major trade gateway to East Africa and handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kenya, which faces increasing competition from other countries like Tanzania and Djibouti in the bid to serve land-locked and rapidly-growing neighbours, is banking on increased port efficiency in its infrastructure plan. It is expected that once these road sections are rehabilitated, they will generate various direct positive effects including savings in vehicle operating costs and road maintenance expenditure. Their rehabilitation is also expected to boost most sectors of economic activity in their areas of influence, including imports, exports, mining, forestry, production and delivery of manufactured products, trade in livestock and fisheries, goods and industrial products and tourism. In the ten months to October 2022, Uganda was the biggest market for Kenyan goods that include coffee, tea and other edible products. Earnings on exports to Uganda stood at Sh66.1 billion in the review period, a 10 per cent rise from Sh59.9 billion earned over the same period in 2021. Kampala’s list of imports from Kenya has however been narrowing over the years as investors set up factories in the country to manufacture goods previously bought from Nairobi, including edible oils and cement. Kenya relies on imported eggs from the landlocked nation where prices are fairer compared to the pricing locally given the high cost of production that has seen several farmers cut on output. The Ugandan minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze said Kenya and Uganda are at an advanced stage of trade talks that would eliminate non-tariff trade barriers in agriculture commodities that have impacted trade between the two nations. The feasibility studies funded by AfDB for the road sections are through the NEPAD –IPPF Facility which supports African countries to prepare regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and transboundary water. The EAC formally submitted its request to NEPAD-IPPF in February 2021 for the financing of consultancy services for carrying out the feasibility studies of the Multinational expressway project. The contractors’ services to undertake the feasibility study were procured in August 2022 which was done through a Request for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) in line with AfDB rules and procedures. Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

German Shoe Company Step Up Kenya Expansion

German shoe manufacturer Josef Seibel is expanding its base into Kenya as it eyes a piece of the country’s booming shoes industry. The company, which was started in 1886 in Haustein, will sell schools as well as men’s shoes. Its renowned product line includes the Shushu and Nolan brands. Under Shushu, they include Maya, Kendo, Amy and Jamal. Nolan comprises Arthur, Nolan (18, 19 and 32) and Artos. “Europe’s longest established shoe manufacturers, Josef Seibel -founded in 1886 in Haunstein, Germany is expanding presence in Kenya,” the company said in a statement. “The company is launching its first physical outlet in Nairobi this Friday, January 27th 2023.” Its expansion comes at a time when the shoe sector is experiencing some fierce competition as big players jostle for customers. Some of the big brands include Bata Kenya, Umoja Africa as well as City Walk, which have been on aggressive marketing campaigns. Lately, Umoja Africa has been on an expansion spree, opening branches in Nairobi as well as other towns in the country. “The Manufacturer uses the highest quality genuine Kenyan leather, tested for Chromium VI chemicals to ensure the leather is safe for use,” the company added. “It is bringing to the market an array of locally produced with European comfort standard shoe brands designed for different age-groups and occasions.” Source: Capital FM Kenya.

Kenya’s Renewable Power Generation Hits 86pct Of Total Output

Some 86 percent of electricity generated in Kenya now comes from renewable energy sources following increased investment in the sector, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said in an annual report released Monday in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. The industry regulator noted that the country generates more than 12,652.74 gigawatts hours (GWh) of electricity annually, with the bulk from geothermal and hydroelectric sources and contributions from wind and solar energy fast-rising. “As a result of investments made in developing the renewable energy sub-sector, 86.98 percent of the energy generated in Kenya is obtained from renewable energy sources,” said EPRA’s Director-General Daniel Kiptoo in the report for the financial year ending 2022. Electricity demand in Kenya has been steadily rising in recent years with peak demand increasing 3.1 percent on average each year to over 2,000 MW. Kiptoo observed economic recovery from COVID-19 disruption has helped push up demand for electricity in the East African nation. Geothermal, which is mainly produced by state-owned firm Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), accounts for a major portion of the power generated while hydroelectric as well as solar and wind energy are critical for the stability of the grid. The rest of the power comes from thermal sources. Kenya ranks first in Africa and seventh in the world in installed geothermal power generating capacity. Source: Capital FM Kenya

Trademark Hotel Unveils Electric Vehicles For Guest Transfers

Trademark Hotel has launched the first electric vehicles (EVs) for their guest transfers aimed at helping to reduce their guests‟ carbon footprint during their stay. This comes as more travelers across the world increasingly become conscious of the environmental impact associated with their travels. “In recent times, we have seen an increased demand for sustainable tourism products. Travelers are increasingly becoming conscious of the environmental impact associated with their travels and in turn, they are seeking to associate with brands that are mindful of these ecological impacts” said Manish Shah, EBS – Director, Tribe Hotels Group. The initial launch comprises of four Nissan Leaf fully electric vehicles with an electric motor and battery as the source of power, instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicles comprising of 2018 and 2019 models have a 40 kWh battery and 110 kW motor, which can comfortably provide 250 km of range. They are high performance EVs, with 5 seats, 435 liters of boot space, and a 5 star NCAP safety rating In a move that has positioned the hotel as a thought leader among its peers, Trademark Hotel is also working in line with the County Government’s agenda for a cleaner and greener city. The environmentally friendly vehicles do not emit pollutants hence contributing to improved air quality in the city. “We are excited to be able to offer quiet, clean, smart and safe climate-friendly mode of transport to our guests,” added Manish. The vehicles which are already in use for guests are charged at the hotel’s basement parking where charging stations have been installed. Trademark is located within the Village Market, a shopping and entertainment destination with over 250 outlets and a cosmopolitan melting point of all cultures offering wholesome family experiences. The launch of EVs is part of the establishment’s green agenda dubbed „The Green Village‟ comprising other sustainable initiatives including a sewer treatment plant, waste management, textiles recycling and planting of trees. Source: Capital FM Kenya.

Global Beauty Brand The Body Shop Enters Kenya

Global beauty brand The Body Shop has entered the Kenyan market, targeting growing demand for sustainably produced beauty products. The British-founded company, which retails over 800 products, opened its first outlet at Nairobi’s Village Market through an exclusive franchisee, The Mask Retailers. It also disclosed plans to launch an e-commerce platform in 2023, to enable consumers in the East Africa region easier access to their products. “The Kenyan consumer deeply cares about how ethically and socially conscious a business is across its entire value chain and also value for their money,” The Body Shop EMEA & LatAm Franchise Business Director Sarah Jackson said during the launch. “The Body Shop is bringing the consumer over 800 products that meet their need for high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up, produced ethically and sustainably,” Jackson added. In 2020, The Body Shop started sourcing tea tree oil from the foothills of Mount Kenya and the east coast region working with the Kutoka Ardhini (‘from the ground’ in Swahili) group that supplies the key ingredient from a network of over 1,000 farmers. This is implemented through Community Fair Trade programme that helps producers gain market access and invest in social and environmental projects that benefit their communities. Over 13,500 farmers, producers and artisans are part of the Community Fair Trade programme globally. “The Body Shop Kenya store has been designed around the brand’s strategy to minimize its environmental footprint. It has been built with reclaimed wood and recycled plastics destined for landfill,” Jackson stated. “The facade is made from zinc/aluminium-low energy metal that is infinitely recyclable and worktops are 100% recycled wood. Customers can also purchase a refillable 300ml aluminium bottle and fill it up with any of 12 brand’s bestloved shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and hand washes.” Besides supporting farmers in the community, The Body Shop has announced that this year, as part of its Christmas community support, it is running an activism campaign dubbed ‘Be Seen. Be Heard’, to amplify young voices in the halls of power. Each purchase over the Christmas period will help The Body Shop donate a minimum of £500,000 to organizations across the globe that support young people who are contributing to their communities to make the world a fairer, more wonderful place. Source: Capital FM Kenya.

BasiGo boosts fleet with 15 new electric buses after new funding

Electric vehicle company BasiGo has upgraded its fleet with the shipping of 15 new electric buses that were cleared at the Port of Mombasa yesterday. This is the largest consignment of electric buses to be brought into the region as discussions towards transitioning to clean energy continue to gather momentum. “Fifteen electric buses have just touched down in Mombasa. This is the largest shipment of clean, electric buses to ever come into this part of the world. This is a historic step towards a new future for public transport in Africa, and BasiGo is proud to be making it happen,” said BasiGo. The firm said the partially assembled vehicles will now be moved to the Associated Vehicle Assemblers in Mombasa for final assembly before being delivered to operators in January. “We cannot wait to see these buses plying routes in Nairobi, providing modern, safe, affordable, electric transport to commuters on a daily basis,” said the firm. The company, which says it has already received over 100 reservations from customers, is currently deploying direct charging stations at strategic locations across the country to support the growing fleet. BasiGo aims to have over 1,000 electric buses deployed in the country by the end of 2025. A fortnight ago, the firm received funds amounting to Sh804.5 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to aid at the beginning of local manufacturing of electric buses and charging infrastructure. The funds brought the total investment received by the company this year to Sh1.3 billion. Momentum has been growing for the adoption of electric vehicles in Kenya amid calls for clean energy solutions to reverse the negative effects of climate change. Kenya, like the rest of the world, has joined in the shift to e-mobility in the global push to reduce pollution through the use of clean-powered vehicles that will significantly cut reliance on diesel and super. Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

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