By Rose Makena Muchiri, Ambassador of Kenya to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
As Kenya continues to commemorate its Golden Jubilee celebrations this year, we look back and appreciate the strides made by the Country since independence. Our journey as a country has not been easy, politically, economically and socially; however at the end of the day we stand as a United Kenya hopeful for a brighter future for the next generations. Our National development blue-print the Vision 2030 aims “to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment”. The Vision 2030 is being steered by the dynamic and youthful team of leaders of the Jubilee coalition whose Manifesto is consistent with that of the country’s Vision.
Under the Vision 2030, the Government seeks to improve the prosperity of all regions of the country. It seeks to do this through various flagship projects, which would be either government financed or through public-private partnerships. The opportunities available for trade and investments in these projects are found in six priority sectors that make up the larger part of Kenya’s GDP (57%): Tourism, Agriculture, Wholesale and retail trade, Manufacturing, IT enabled services and Financial Services.
One of my top priorities as Ambassador in The Netherlands has been to link the Kenyan agenda to prospective investors and businesses in The Netherlands particularly and indeed in Europe in general. Following her visit to Kenya in October 2013, Honourable Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation concurred that Kenya was open for business and that the investment climate was conducive. She also confirmed that Kenya remains a key trade and business partner for the Netherlands, which is why she led a large business delegation to Kenya to seek investment and trade opportunities.
We therefore welcome potential Dutch investors to consider Kenya, which has been labelled as a viable business hub and to partner in fields where they have excelled in The Netherlands such as maritime and port development, infrastructure development including railway and road networks, healthcare, agriculture and renewable energy amongst several others.
Choosing Kenya as an investment destination will also provide entry to the East Africa Community region, which has a strong and growing market of a population of 135 million people. In order to access this, Kenya offers convenient infrastructure, having the second largest port in Africa, a strategic rail corridor and being the regional leader in air transportation. In addition, Kenya enjoys a well-developed information and communications technology, which includes a large part of the country having internet access courtesy of the fibre optics network, which is the largest in the region.
Our Mission will continue to engage and provide the necessary support to investors who are ready to set up or expand their presence in Kenya.