, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Ten privately owned Israeli firms are currently in Kenya studying cases of insecurity in a bid to offer their expertise.
The companies are specifically interested in offering consultancy services to key government and private installations in the country amid numerous terror threats.
Israeli ambassador to Kenya Yahel Vilan says Kenya was picked among other African countries due to its strategic position and its porous borders with troubled nations.
“Israel has developed expertise tactically in almost all aspect of homeland security; we don’t want to limit ourselves in this,” he told journalists on Wednesday. “We will engage the Government of Kenya at a later stage.”
The companies enjoy vast experience in issues of security ranging from terror, cyber crime, VIP protection and intelligence gathering for both civilian and the military.
The ambassador was addressing journalists after opening the Israeli Homeland Security Business Seminar in Nairobi.
Israel just like Kenya is grappling with terrorism that continues to claim innocent lives.
In Kenya, 312 people were killed in terrorism-related attacks between 2012 and 2014, according to a police report released this year.
Police said terror attacks in the 24 months also left 779 people injured, with counties bordering Somalia being the worst hit.
The year 2014 had the highest number of deaths resulting from terror attacks at 173, with Lamu County accounting for 67 deaths, while Mandera saw 64 people killed.
Just recently, 147 people were killed at Garissa University College in one of many attacks attributed to the Al-Shabaab terror group.
This week’s seminar that also involves Kenya private security firms will focus on security threats such as cattle rustling, money laundering, tribal conflicts, political and civil unrest and corruption.
A new survey by a private security company, Warrior Insight in collaboration with Research Solutions Africa indicates that majority of Kenyan companies at 90 percent see terror related risks and theft of assets as their major security threat.
The research also identifies cyber crime, mobile scams and violent crime as other security concerns raised by business owners at 70 percent who pointed out that security had deteriorated over the last two years.
Institute of Professional Security Studies, Executive Director, Julius Githiri said the country has to engage all players including the private sector in securing the country.
“We must appreciate that the Government has a new constitution to implement but it is a question of how quickly we can be able to bring the stakeholders together in managing security issues that matters,” he said.
He called for a multi-sectoral approach in fighting the menace saying, “Kenya is an interesting place because Nairobi is a hub in the continent.”
The security sector has recorded increased activity with the entry into the market of global giants while it is also becoming lucrative with the companies conducting exploration of oil and other mineral resources in the country.
With devolution, he said the sector has become more vibrant with various Counties hoping to attract investors, “but must do so in a secure environment.”
Some of the Israeli companies include Dignia, Magal S3, Mer Group, Security Division, Mifram, NICE, and ORAD. Others include Terrogence, Supercom and X-test.
Terrogence is a private web intelligence company that focuses on detecting and verifying terror.