Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are set to attract Sh1.48 trillion worth of foreign investment annually, State Department for Investment Principal Secretary Abubakar Hassan has said.
The PS said the SEZs seek to position Kenya as an attractive investment destination, adding that so far, the government has gazetted 28 SEZs across the country in a bid to tap foreign direct investment (FDI).
Speaking during the launch of the Nairobi Gate Industrial Park in the Northlands along the Eastern Bypass yesterday, the PS said seven of the SEZs have been gazetted as customs-controlled, adding that three are already operational. Four of them are public-developed, while 24 are private, he added.
The Nairobi Gate investors have pumped in USD 40 million into the project in the last one and a half years and are set to spend another USD 160 million more in the next five years to complete the industrial zone.
The first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in East Africa has so far created 500 jobs, with another 10,000 direct jobs set to be created after its completion.
The SEZ, which has a gazetted customs control area in East Africa, is expected to allow businesses operating from Nairobi Gate additional efficiencies, including a one-stop shop for regulatory agencies including the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, customs, and the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).
The PS underscored the importance of industrial parks in driving investment within the country in addition to accelerating manufacturing and promoting skills exchange.
Developed by Improvon Group, Nairobi Gate SEZ was meticulously designed to align with the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA) requirements, including housing all relevant government agencies within the zone.
Dean Shillaw, MD, Impact North SEZ, owner of Nairobi Gate Industrial Park, explained that the SEZ will provide additional value for businesses.
Keneth Chelule Langat, CEO of the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA), emphasised the significance of Nairobi Gate, as it marks the first SEZ to fully integrate customs control provisions within the zone, following recent legislative developments.
Strategically aligned with Nairobi’s 2030 spatial development plan, Nairobi Gate offers turnkey projects ranging from mini units of 5,000 square feet to warehouses of 400,000 square feet, along with land sale options.