From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – LEADING Chinese enterprises operating in Kenya have pledged to provide support to fast track the attainment of the East African country’s Big Four development plan.
The companies that have backed the government’s plans are in the infrastructure development, manufacturing and information communication and technology (ICT).
Key Chinese enterprises that have pledged their support include Huawei Technologies, Twyford Ceramics, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and AVIC International.
Speaking at a forum organised by the government in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Kenya China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA) representatives from the enterprises welcomed calls to provide technical and related support necessary for the attainment of the Big Four priorities on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.
Opening of the forum on friday, Chinese Ambassador, Liu Xianfa, emphasised on the continued support of China to the development of Kenya.
He said Kenya was a long standing partner to China.
“It is our hope that the two countries shall continue to work closely in order to see the realisation of the Big Four Agenda for economic development by the Jubilee government. We are committed towards according any necessary support to Kenya as they work towards this great plan,” said Xianfa.
The Big Four plan is aimed at raising the share of manufacturing sector to 15 percent of GDP; ensure that all citizens enjoy food security and improved nutrition by 2022; achieve universal health coverage and deliver at least 500 000 affordable housing units.
James Macharia, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, welcoming the Chinese enterprises’ support, said the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta had already outlined and set in motion practical avenues to ensure the on time attain of the Big Four plan.
In Kenya, Huawei has helped to significantly reduce the medical costs of over 200 000 people with digital clinic and telemedicine platforms.
The firm is also implementing the Nairobi Intelligent Traffic System project, which is part of the Nairobi Urban Transport Improvement Programme and funded to the tune of Kshs 1,4 billion (US$14 million) by World Bank and Kenya government.
The implementation of the Nairobi ITS comes on the heels of the Huawei Digital Railway Solution deployment for the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway project constructed by CRBC.
Ceramic tiles manufacturer Twyford recently established a modern manufacturing plant in Kajiado county at an investment value of $30 million.
Avic International is currently undertaking a KSh40.5 billion construction works for its 30-floor Africa headquarters in Nairobi.