NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga is back in the country and set off for the city’s Eastleigh area which was rocked by xenophobic attacks after an explosion on Sunday.
Odinga was away for a week in Malaysia and South Korea where he showcased the country as an investment destination.
He spent the better part of his working trip wooing the business community from the Asian region to exploit investment opportunities in Kenya, for the mutual benefit of the people of the two continents.
The premier met his Korean counterpart Kim Hwang-Sik with whom they held talks on ways of promoting bilateral ties between the two countries.
The meeting held in Seoul discussed modalities of a joint venture to exploit the untapped energy potential in the country and the prospects of developing a nuclear power plant in the near future.
The talks comes after the Daewoo Corporation of Korea finalised plans to construct a 300 MW coal power plant in Kilifi as the government seeks funds to scale up production to at least 1000 MW.
Odinga informed investors to take advantage of the opportunities in the energy sector citing that less that 150 out of the 7000 MW of geothermal energy potential in the country was exploited for power production.
He asked the Korean firms to consider setting branches in Nairobi under a build, operate and transfer arrangement arguing that energy deficit remains the biggest challenge to Kenya’s dream of becoming Africa’s investment destination.
The premier who was accompanied by his wife Ida and several Members of Parliament met the officials of the Federation of Korean Industries who he assured that Kenya had adopted an open door policy to foreign investors.
He said Kenya was keen on forging closer ties with rising economic giants in Asia as the country embarks on setting up Special Economic Zones to spur growth and create jobs.
The tour comes after the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Korea’s POSCO to establish the Mini and Integrated Steel Mill plant in Kenya, following the recent discovery of iron ore in the country.
Among the notable places the Kenyan delegation visited included the the Samsung Electronics factory, Advanced Institute of Science and Technology which has expressed interest in setting an innovation centre at the Konza ICT city.
The trip comes after Korean Airlines introduced direct flights from between Seoul and Nairobi four months ago.