Local towns attain SEZ status

Naivasha, Mombasa and Machakos towns are set for a major transformation after the Government of Kenya set aside a total of 9,000 acres of land in the three towns as Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) even as it steps up efforts to boost manufacturing in the country. The gazettement happened last Friday officiated by the Trade and Industrialization cabinet secretary Mr. Peter Munya. This means the zones shall enjoy special tax and infrastructure which will in turn facilitate a wide range of activities like storage, export and re-export.

1000 acres in Maai-Mahiu, Nakuru county, 5000 acres in Malili ranch that hosts Konza City, Machakos county and 3000 acres in Dongo Kundu in Mombasa county contribute to the named SEZ’s. Both local and foreign investors have been seeking licenses to put up 100 zones of these kind across the country according to the Ministry of Industrialization. They also had earlier revealed that the applications were being scrutinized while priority was being given to entities looking to use locally produced raw materials to process export products.

The cabinet secretary for the East African Community (EAC), Mr. Adan Mohammed had earlier stated that apart from Tatu city and Africa Economic Zones (AEZ), Naivasha shall as well be built thus enabling manufacturing facilities enjoy access to cheap geothermal power and standard gauge railway transport to Mombasa port.

A number of studies have indicated that over 120 countries in the world have SEZ’s that have contributed to over 50 million direct jobs. The president earlier announced allocation of land to neighboring countries South Sudan and Uganda in Naivasha for construction of dry inland container depots for the respective countries following bilateral trade talks during the countries’ respective heads of state visits in the country.

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