NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9- Vipingo Development a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed Centum Investment has injected an estimated Sh5.5 billion into the Kilifi County economy and helped to create more than 3,000 jobs in two years, an economic impact survey has established.
Vipingo Development has transformed Vipingo, into a bustling urban node comprising of modern residential estates, commercial and industrial developments.
The economic transformation has seen the creation of many direct and indirect jobs, growth of local businesses, revenue in form of fees payments to the Kilifi County government, and transformation of the real estate landscape of the region with the completion of construction of 400 residential houses in the first phase of the project.
“In a relatively short period of time, Vipingo Development has developed a model city on affordable housing and industrialization in a locality that previously didn’t maximize on its economic potential,” said Kenneth Mbae, the VDL managing director.
Construction of a 10,000 square feet shopping mall, a food processing factory, warehouses, and a water desalination plant are currently ongoing. All these projects have had a multi-billion-shilling transformative effect on the Vipingo economy, the survey found.
The construction work has created 1,500 direct jobs and an equivalent number of indirect jobs, the survey found.
“Before this real estate project came to this area I couldn’t hold a regular job but for the past two years I have worked here non-stop and that has stabilized me and my family financially,” said Ummy Nyadzua a mason and now safety officer who was among the first cohort of Vipingo Development sponsored vocational trainees hired by the contractor in 2018.
VDL’s presence in the period has impacted over 3,000 households within the vibrant Vipingo area in Kilifi County. Additionally, 54 local-based suppliers and contractors have partnered with the project contractors to offer various services within the real estate value chain.
“The most impactful outcome of the two-year development journey is the pace of expansion achieved by local businesses, landlords and increased investments in neighboring shopping centres to support the project’s workforce in terms increased food, accommodation, and transport demand,” said Mbae quoting from the report.
The impact survey found that shop owners have doubled their stock turnover, while rental rates have increased by up to 15 percent due to increased demand for high-quality affordable housing by the project’s workforce.
Vipingo Development has spent over Sh60million in education by offering 200 fully paid secondary school scholarships to bright and needy students from Vipingo, improving school learning infrastructure in 6 schools, and sponsoring 150 youths to take up vocational training programs that have provided them with at least one employable skill set.
In addition, the project has implemented a sports sponsorship program that targets to nurture local talent and create employment for the youth.
To date Vipingo Development has donated complete football kits (jerseys, shorts, boots & balls) to five football teams within Vipingo area.
“Vipingo is now one of the fastest-growing and sought-after investment destinations along the Kenyan Coast with airlines now offering two flights per day to Vipingo from Wilson Airport,” said Mbae.