Kenya, UAE agree on building innovation and infrastructure centre

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  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed an announcement by the United Arab Emirates to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation centre in Kenya 
  • The announcement follows a conversation between President Kenyatta and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  • Kenyatta, on a working visit to the United Arab Emirates, praised Kenya as the top investment destination in Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed an announcement by the United Arab Emirates to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation centre in Kenya.

The announcement follows a conversation between President Kenyatta and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Kenyatta had gone to a working visit in the United Arab Emirates, where he praised Kenya as the top investment destination in Africa. The Emirates News Agency reported that H.E Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed had directed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to build an innovation and entrepreneurship hub in Kenya.

Read: Zanzibar, UAE Strengthen Economic Ties

The Kenyan innovation and entrepreneurship centre will focus on launching programmes, initiatives and workshops that will provide upcoming and established entrepreneurs in Kenya with guidance on incorporating innovation into their businesses to boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Uhuru praises Kenya as the top investment destination in Africa. [Photo/Viral Tea]
According to the Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Khalifa Fund, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Chairman, the directive of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to establish a centre for innovation and tech-focused entrepreneurship in Kenya comes as part of the UAE’s ongoing commitment to contribute towards empowering talented innovators and entrepreneurs globally.

“With centres such as these, we provide entrepreneurs with resources, support and guidance to contribute to their local and global economy, bringing about positive economic implications and security,” Al Shorafa said.

He added that the collaboration between the United Arab Emirates and Kenya through the Khalifa Fund would see Kenya having the same levels of achievement as has been experienced in the United Arb Emirates.

Sheikh Al Nahyan said that they were pleased to be among Kenya’s top trading partners, dubbing President Uhuru’s presence at the exposition as a reflection of the strength of the close ties between the two countries.

The Khalifa Fund was recently recognized as the best globally by the Global Monitoring Index report, produced jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

President Kenyatta welcomes foreign investors to invest in the country.

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged that it is an inevitable decision to create an enabling environment to encourage investors to invest in Africa to improve the continent’s economy.

Speaking at the Expo 2020 Dubai to mark the Kenya National Day, Kenyatta assured international investors that the country is safe, promising and open for business. He said his government had installed a legal framework that provides adequate investor protection in line with international standards. The most prominent is the safeguarding of investors’ property rights.

Read: UAE-Africa trade: Harnessing tomorrow’s market today

“We need to be the welcoming party…do what these investors require from us to come into our country to bring their investment, create jobs, and help us develop our economy,” President Kenyatta said.

He added that the country enjoys economic and political stability, a large consumer economy, a 100 per cent liberalized economy, modern infrastructure, and a youthful, skilled and productive labour force.

Kenya constructs Nairobi Expressway to facilitate trade. [Photo/People Daily]
During the global exposition, President Kenyatta showcased Kenya’s rich cultural and economic diversity praising the country as a country of choice for multinational companies and a leading destination for foreign direct investment in the region.

Kenya’s head of state reiterated that the country is ready to build new trade partnerships with the Gulf Cooperation Council states and other nations participating in the Dubai Expo 2020.

One hundred ninety-two nations are participating in the six-month global exposition in Dubai. Every country has been allocated a national day of honour. “We seek to harness the opportunities offered by this expo to build new business partnerships, attract new investments and bring tourists to Kenya to enjoy our world-renowned attractions,” the President said.

The UAE is fully committed to investing in Africa, with research showing that the Asian country is only behind the Republic of China in terms of investment. The country has set foot in Senegal, Mozambique, Kenya, Egypt, Algeria, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This announcement comes just a month before the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) kicks off on 29 – 31 March 2022. The congress is under the main theme of Investments in Sustainable Innovation for a Thriving Future. It will be held at the Dubai Exhibition Center, EXPO 2020 Dubai under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Read: UAE targets Kenya in new chamber partnership

I am a journalist who is an enthusiastic tech, business and investment news writer from across Africa. There is always something good happening in Africa but most gets lost in the stereotypes. I tell the stories that matter to the Africans for Africa. Have a tip? You can contact me at j.kangethe@theexchange.africa

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