By Christine Muchira
Kenya’s march to being a newly industrialised country over the next 15 years got a boost Friday following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat(VDS) and two private sector players.
The Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat assigned the Vision 2030 flagship status to two projects by Fertiplant East Africa and Play Guru Limited.
The Vision 2030 flagship project status will enable the two companies effectively collaborate with Government entities in their projects. This is expected to speed up their implementation as well as ensure maximum benefit to Kenyans.
Fertiplant East Africa is setting up a Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), fertiliser (NPK fertiliser) production plant in Nakuru while Play Guru will put up a bicycle assembly plant in Nairobi.
The two projects are expected to create thousands of jobs when they complete as well as impact on the value chains in their respective industries.
Prof Gituro Wainaina Director General, VDS, noted the two projects will have a significant impact on the lives of Kenyans not only through the creation of jobs but also across the entire manufacturing value chain.
The fertiliser plant is expected to bring down the cost of the product locally and in turn boost agricultural productivity.
Further availability of quality affordable farm input will contribute immensely towards making Kenya a food and nutrition secure country.
The bicycle assembly plant on the other hand will ease transport for many people as the country embraces multi modal transportation in infrastructure planning and development.
This will be a cost effective means of transport as well as promote healthy living for the citizens
“These projects are in line with the aspirations of the Vision 2030 of improving the quality of lives of Kenyans,” said Prof Gituro.
“The number of jobs that these projects will create as well as the impact they will have in the value chains of their respective industries, will play a part in creating wealth for the country and in turn making Kenya a newly industrialised country by the year 2030,” Gituro added.
VDS is mandated to scout for high impact projects being implemented by private sector players and facilitate partnerships with Government agencies
Fertiplant East Africa Limited (FEA) will install and operate a US$ 17.08 million NPK fertiliser plant in Nakuru.
The plant is expected to start operations May 2017. It shall have a capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of NPK Fertilizers when in operation.
Titus Gitau, Executive Director at Fertiplant said once operational, the plant would create 1 000 direct jobs and cut the cost of fertilisers by up to 70 per cent.
“The Nakuru plant is currently under construction and is set to be one of the most attractive and prestigious facilities in East Africa. It is one of a kind in Sub Saharan Africa and will be a major step towards bridging the gap between local production and imported fertiliser. It will also bring stability and continuity on supply of fertilisers in Kenya,” said Gitau.
Fertiplant is owned by MEA Ltd which currently operates a dry bulk fertiliser blending plant in Nakuru with an installed capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes per year which covers the demand and NPK fertilizer requirements within the region.
Play Guru is constructing a bicycle assembly line, a sustainable development transport solution that would offer millions of the Kenyans a sustainable transport platform. The Nairobi plant will produce 10 000 units every month in its first of year of operations.
Play Guru is also in plans to open six more assembly lines across the country through a franchise model, which will provide gainful employment to over 10 000 Kenyans.
Wycliffe Waweru Chief Operating Officer Play Guru Ltd said that this will position Kenya as a lead country in implementing sustainable development goals and social enterprises as catalysts for economic growth.
“The primary assembly line will be in Nairobi while the long term plan will be to franchise and feed 6 more plants into the national grid. This will help thousands setup retail outlets in support of the vibrant industry thus providing thousands of job opportunities,” Waweru said.
He added that the proposed assembly line is in line with most of Vision 2030 flagship projects as it integrates different aspects aimed at growing the economy.
These include tourism, youth empowerment, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, conservation, improved livelihoods, a healthier and vibrant workforce, PPPs, trade, climate change, carbon trading and green opportunities.