, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Since Kenya hosted the Tokyo International Conference Africa’s Development – TICAD VI – in August 2016, the number of Japanese companies in the country has increased by 53 per cent from 41 to 54 companies.
This is according to Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara who says investments have been made in many sectors, especially manufacturing, infrastructure and education.
“The investors are not just coming to Kenya to sell finished products, no, they are actually setting up manufacturing plants in various sectors such the automobile and agriculture sectors. Consider the case of Toyota Tsusho Corporation which has built a fertilizer blending plant in Eldoret to produce fertilizer,” Ikiara said.
Ikiara was speaking during the TICAD VI follow-up workshop in Nairobi.
The country is also leading in terms of perception among Japanese investors at 35 per cent ahead of other African countries.
The Ambassador of Japan to Kenya Toshitsugu Uesawa says Japanese investors have their eyes on set on the country owing to its working environment which includes friendly investment policies and a skilled workforce.
“In the eyes of the investors, Kenya has a lot of opportunities and the investors are looking to contribute in every sector, from big to small projects. We already have projects underway that include Dongo Kundu special economic zone and the infrastructure projects such as the Ngong’ Road project and the Mombasa Port project,” Uesawa said.
The Dongo Kundu Free Trade Port area aims to boost manufacturing and take advantage of expansion projects that will boost the capacity of the port of Mombasa.
The government of Japan is expected to fund approximately Sh12.2 billion for the construction of an irrigation dam facility and rehabilitation of the waterway.
Some of the ongoing projects by Japanese companies in Kenya include the construction of a connection bridge in front of the Nairobi train station by JFE Engineering Corporation; improvement of water supply system in Embu by Konoike Construction Co. Ltd and a green toilet system project in Naivasha by LIXIL Corporation.
“TICAD also wants to support industrialization in Kenya in line with the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big 4 agenda,” Uesawa said.