Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amb Monica Juma has called on South-Africa to tap into the lucrative investments opportunities that exist in Kenya especially in food security, manufacturing, universal health care and affordable housing.
CS Amb. Monica Juma who was speaking at the 3rd Kenya Trade and Investment Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa urged the private sectors of both Kenya and South Africa to drive the growth of trade and investment in both countries, and anchor intra-Africa trade by taking full advantage of the AfCFTA, to grow Intra-Africa trade and integration.
“Kenya and South Africa occupy important Geo-political locations that provide opportunities not only for their own trade and development but also for collaboration in regional trade and Investment,” said Juma.
During her official visit to South Africa, Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma held a bilateral meeting with Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa at his office in Arcadia, Pretoria.
Discussions focused on modalities of progressing negotiations in the area of movement of persons, goods and services between Kenya and South Africa.
Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma also commissioned the newly refurbished Chancery-Taifa House in Menlo Park Pretoria. She interacted with Kenyans that were seeking consular services and had the opportunity to process travel documents for a Kenyan, Ms Veronica Wanjiru.
During the Summit at Dimensions Data Center, Kenya’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Amb. Jean Kamau encouraged participants to tap into the knowledge and resources shared by both countries.
Principal Secretary of State Department for Transport and Housing, Charles Hinga urged the investors from South Africa to take seize the opportunities being presented in housing sector in Kenya adding that the Government of Kenya had addressed all the impediments and challenges such as the high cost of construction materials, cost of processes and misalignment of policies, procurement challenges, and cost of financing on both demand and supply.
Hinga also assured the investors that Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company and the National Housing Development Fund would now provide cash-bank guarantees to investors who take up the projects.
Regarding the high cost of land Hinga said the Senate had passed land value index in respect of compulsory acquisition of land.
The Government will also unlock its land to make it available to developers at no cost on condition that the developers build affordable housing on at least 70% of the land set aside for housing.
During the Summit, Hinga said the first batch of 32 BRT buses procured from South Africa would be delivered by end of the Month of April 2019.
Principal Secretary, State Department for Irrigation, Prof. Fred Segor stated that as part of the big four agenda, the State Department for Irrigation had been mandated to deliver food and nutrition security.
The Ministry plays a crucial role in supporting the actualisation of the other big four agenda by providing raw materials for the manufacturing sector. PS Segor said one of the ways of promoting agricultural productivity in Kenya was through irrigation.
He further stated that Agricultural production in Kenya was experiencing low yields and productivity in comparison with rest of the world. He said the Ministry was currently focusing on strategies to increase productivity and value addition.
PS Segor called upon the investors to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the Agricultural sector and strengthen the existing collaboration as well as invest inputs provision facilities such as fertilisers and seeds.
In terms of increasing product-specific production and value addition, the PS informed the meeting that there were immense investment opportunities in maize, rice and livestock as well as aquaculture production intended to bridge the current huge deficit.
In regards to livestock productivity, PS Segor said Kenya was exploring ways to introduce commercial feedlots and had identified fifty viable locations around the country to carry out the exercise. He said Kenya was keenly looking for strategic partners in this area.