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Ruto: Kenya’s journey to becoming global industrial powerhouse on course

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President William Ruto has affirmed Kenya’s progress towards becoming a global industrial powerhouse, citing robust investor confidence as a key driver.

He emphasized that this confidence is attracting significant foreign and local investments, bolstering the country’s industrial agenda.

Speaking at the official opening of Jumbo Africa Auto Auction Ltd at the Naivasha Special Economic Zone, President Ruto highlighted the significance of Kenya’s Special Economic Zone programme in driving economic growth through private investment mobilization.

He emphasized its objectives of increasing employment, boosting exports, enhancing supply chains, and augmenting Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings.

“Competitive bidding will guarantee lower prices enhancing the savings buyers will accrue compared to traditional purchasing and car importation,” he added

President Ruto also announced the commencement of construction for 1000 affordable housing units at the special economic zone, underscoring the government’s commitment to similar economic zones across the country, including Dongo Kundu in Mombasa, Sagana in Kirinyaga, Thika, Egerton, Eldoret, and Busia.

He lauded the Naivasha Special Economic Zone’s industrial park as a pivotal step in Kenya’s industrialization journey, highlighting its status as the first Japanese car auction facility in Africa.

President Ruto further disclosed plans for five additional investors to establish operations in Naivasha, including an electric vehicle manufacturing company.

To support this growth, the government has acquired an additional 5,000 acres to transform Naivasha into a fully-fledged industrial city.

The President said the zone’s benefits, include the ability to purchase vehicles using the Kenyan shilling, competitive bidding leading to lower prices, and the potential stimulation of the vehicle spare parts industry and overall automotive sector activities.

Governor Susan Kihika of Nakuru highlighted the zone’s potential to create more than 100,000 job opportunities therefore addressing unemployment and fostering manufacturing growth in the region.
She cited the lower electricity tariff Ksh 5 per kilowatt-hour and urged investors to capitalise on the opportunity.
Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Okaniwa Ken said the investments in the special economic zone had the full backing of the Japanese Government.
“Kenya is a gateway to African markets and other countries will be opened up,” he noted

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara hailed the facility’s impact on the local economy, envisioning it as a catalyst for putting Naivasha on the global map.

Principal Secretaries Abubakar Hassan (Investment Promotion) and Alex Wachira (Energy), along with MPs John Kiarie (Dagoretti) and Maina Karobia (EALA), were also present at the event.

The CEO of Jumbo Africa Auto Auction Ltd, Zahid Khan, and chairman Chaudhry Rehman expressed gratitude for the government’s support in their endeavours.

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