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Kenya to learn from Spanish cities

MADRID, Spain, Jun 7 – Kenya is looking to form a strategic partnership with Spain in an effort to develop the country’s cities.

Deputy Prime Minister and Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi has called on Spanish investors to visit Kenya and explore the potential of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investment opportunities.

Touring the Mercamadrid market complex in the Spanish capital, Mr Mudavadi said investors stood a chance to form lucrative joint ventures especially with the potential coming from the enactment of a new Constitution.

“The creation of strong county governments sustained by financial budget backup heralds a new era of joint ventures, and you are welcome to the opportunity in infrastructure investments,” Mr Mudavadi said.

Built on a120-hectare piece of land, the market complex is a joint venture between the City of Madrid (51 percent), private investors (48 percent) and the Association of Agricultural Wholesalers (1 percent).

The market hosts hotels, restaurants, banks and sports facilities that serve nine million people earning 3.6 billion Euros a year.

The Local Government Minister hopes the market concept can be replicated in Nairobi and lead to the relocation of the Wakulima market.

“Wakulima market has served its purpose, and population growth and new technology demands a new concept for fresh produce storage to reduce wastage for traders could mean a brand new market under PPP away from the congestion within the city centre,” he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister has just finished attending the World Summit on Haiti in the Dominican Republic where he called on countries to honour their pledges towards the reconstruction of the earthquake-devastated Haiti.

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Speaking at the closing session, Mr Mudavadi said that the process of reconstruction should be by and for the people of Haiti.

“We must avoid participation by other players that could generate distortions in the process,” he said and warned of a possible revolt by Haitians if pledges were delayed.

Of the $10 billion pledged in March, the Summit resolved that $5.6 billion be channelled to Haiti in the next 24 months.

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