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President Ruto in Silicon Valley charm offensive

President William Ruto has invited American technology companies to set up manufacturing operations and regional offices in Kenya.

The President said Kenya has a conducive environment for investments in technology and manufacturing.

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“Kenya is a full package investment destination; economically stable, entrepreneurial, secure, innovative with a favourable tax environment, skilled labour force, technological expertise, green energy credentials and a gateway for six undersea fibre-optic cables providing reliable data connectivity,” he said.

The President was speaking when he met Chief Executive Officers Tim Cook (Apple), Patrick Gelsinger (Intel), Google’s Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Ruth Porat, Brad Smith (Microsoft COO) and other executives from Microsoft, Nike, GAP and Levi Strauss in San Francisco, United States.

He assured the investors that the Government will carefully consider and address any concerns they may have to increase their confidence in Kenya.

American companies expressed confidence in the country as an ideal investment destination.

Mr Cook said Apple will consider setting up a developer’s academy and will also tap into Kenya’s green data centre potential.

Intel, Mr Gelsinger added, views Kenya as a good investment destination.

Mr Smith said Kenya’s impressive returns on investment position it as an appealing destination for American venture capital.

He noted that Kenya, despite offering solutions with broader applicability to connectivity and energy, remains largely unexplored.

Ms Porat said Google has committed to investing USD 1 billion in Africa to bolster its digital training and innovation initiatives.

Visa Global President Oliver Jenkyn said Kenya has played a vital role in enabling Visa to establish a strong presence in the East African market.

He said the organisation has picked Kenya as the only African country to host Visa’s global digital innovation studio.

“Less than a year ago Visa made a commitment to invest USD 1 Billion in Africa over the next five years and a large portion of that is going to Kenya,” he said.

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