, NEW YORK, United States, Sep 27 – Saturday morning was a time for entrepreneurs in the United States to pose questions on investment opportunities in Kenya to government officials, and it paid off.
At the end of a two-hour interactive session with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretaries accompanying him on his New York trip, commitments were made to invest in areas such as energy.
“One company in particular doubled its commitment to invest in solar power in Kenya over a period of time developing up to about 2,000 megawatts of power at a cost of approximately $4 billion,” President Kenyatta said in an interview at the Waldorf Astoria.
He said other firms were keen to establish themselves in Kenya’s Information Technology, the health sector and infrastructure such as the LAPSSET corridor.
The US-based BCIU is a nonpartisan organisation that works to expand international trade and commerce.
It facilitates mutually beneficial relationships between business and government leaders worldwide.
With nearly 200 member companies, including many Fortune 500 firms, BCIU says it delivers strategic insight, worldwide connections and essential services to enable businesses to pursue global growth opportunities.
The organisation which was founded as a White House initiative by President Dwight D. Eisenhower has organised thousands of conferences, roundtable discussions and private meetings, as well as trade missions around the world.
Earlier, Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed described the meeting as positive, with American businesses eager to know more about the investment climate that exists in Kenya.
“One of the issues that emerged is that the business people want to know how soon we can have direct flights between Kenya and the United States and we indicated that the issue is being addressed since this will spur levels of trade.”
He said Kenya was “experiencing exciting times” and the government was eager to do more to spur economic growth.
He explained that there was interest in infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare and energy.
“There is one firm that wants to connect 100,000 people to solar power with potential to increase that to 10 million people,” Mohammed disclosed.