Friday, June 21, 2024

Karibu Kenya, The Lion of Africa Roars

“Investors can feel secure investing in Kenya as we are a member of three multilateral bodies that ensure the safety of their investments. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) arbitrates disputes between international investors and the government. The Multilateral Investments Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders. And the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATIA) helps lower the risks of doing business by providing export credit, political risk insurance, and investment insurance. I would like to invite all investors from Malaysia and Southeast Asia to Make It Kenya!”

– H.E Francis N. Muhoro,
The High Commissioner of Kenya to Malaysia

 Everything The Light Touches Is Our Kingdom.”

– Mufasa, in The Lion King

When we speak to H.E. Francis N. Muhoro the High Commissioner of Kenya to Malaysia, about his country, that is the impression we get. Of a blessed country lovingly kissed by the sun, and of a people who are the salt of the Earth. If Africa is the richest continent in the world, then Kenya must surely be one of the few jewels that adorn its crown.

 “And if you come during the months of July, August and September, it’s pure magic at the Maasai Mara – an 8th Wonder of the World”. It’s where you’d see the largest emigration of animals from Tanzania crossing the Mara River, including the Big Five (African elephants, black rhinos, leopards, buffalos, lions – considered the largest and most dangerous of land animals to hunt on foot by early big game hunters)”, he adds.

The abundant wildlife, national parks, game reserves, good climate, beautiful geographical landscapes, savannah grasslands, forests, salt and fresh water lakes and beautiful coastal beaches create a unique combination of tourist attractions which investors can also take advantage of through programs that have been earmarked by the government.

Kenya’s economic attractions

With a large population of over 50 million that speaks both English and Kiswahili, Kenya’s economy is distinguished from most African countries by the fact that it is one of the most diversified and advanced.

Kenya is the fifth largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa with agriculture, industry and manufacturing, transport and information communication technology, financial services, real estate and business services as the main sub-sectors of the economy.

It is the dominant economy in the East African Community (EAC), contributing more than 50 percent of the region’s GDP and boasts numerous natural resources such as limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite gypsum, wildlife, geothermal power and hydropower among others.

“Our blue economy – our oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and other water resources – can be harnessed to promote food security and there are investment opportunities in the huge repository of marine and freshwater resources – blue economy. These hold great promise for contributing towards African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals,” H.E. Muhoro emphasises.

And the future is bright for investors in Kenya. “You don’t have to take a local partner to form a company in Kenya and you can own a 100 percent foreign company in Kenya and repatriate your profits. We are building Konza Technopolis City and the host of the IASP World Conference 2024, 60km south of Nairobi, on 5000 acres of land which is meant to be leased to investors through a 99-year ground lease. Besides, there

are very huge investment opportunities in the area of manufacturing, housing, healthcare and agriculture with emphasis on agro processing.”

A Geothermal Wonder

90 percent of the nation’s installed electricity capacity comes from renewable energy sources, which is more than three times the global average.

Kenya’s energy sector is amongst the most robust in Africa and boasts of geothermal resources in Olkaria and Menengai – 14 potential sites have been identified in the Rift Valley – which have been utilised to inject 800 megawatts of power to the national grid.

The government continues to promote energy production through public-private-partnerships and opportunities exist in further diversification of Kenya’s energy mix with focus on renewable energy.

Hell’s Gate National Park

Kenya’s dramatic and atmospheric geothermal park, a place of immense volcanic activity, has an unmatched beauty that has inspired not just The Lion King movie cinematography but also films such as King Solomon’s’ Mines, Born Free, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Lara Croft Tomb Raider and many more.

The People

Powerful, driven, beautiful and magnetic – The Kenyans are a formidable force who are creating a new Kenya. One that is a leader amongst the African nations.

“Kenya is leading the drive to a united Africa, one where we leverage of each other’s strengths and become collectively stronger, better and wiser. We have such a diversity of cultures, wisdom and richness of the earth in this beautiful land – this is the time of Africa Rising, and Kenya intends to play a major role in this,’ expounds the High Commissioner.

As we made our way out of his sunlit and green embassy, as African as it could get in Malaysia, we stopped at a carving of an Elder outside the reception. And learnt the story of how influential the elders are in Africa.

“We have never abandoned our ancient wisdom, traditional leadership and our respect for nature, in a compromise for western modernity. Africa the cradle of mankind holds the secrets of the world, her birth, her evolution and her future. And our Elders still hold sway over modern processes. They have immense influence on leadership in the making of national policies. This is why Africa will prevail.”

Africa is larger than life in many ways – it is more colourful, more vibrant, more abundant with resources and more deeply spiritual than most places in the world. It is also literally, the largest continent in the world unlike what is portrayed in the map.

“In reality, you can fit all of the USA and Europe in Africa,” says H.E. Francis N. Muhoro.

So why is the map so disproportionate? Well, it is as disproportionate as almost everything you hear about Africa in the mainstream media. Africa has been much exploited and misreported by players outside the continent as they continue to take Africa’s riches, their media keeps portraying Africa as corrupt, chaotic and poor. Nothing can be far from the truth.

But Africa rises today, strong and determined, to build solid foundations the way their forefathers did. And there are many African men like HE Francis Muhoro, proud of their traditions and consistent in their passionate storytelling of a new Africa, who will help make that transition for Africa faster than expected.

The world waits with bated breath for the ripple effect that a giant like Africa will create for the rest of the world. If the hypothetical flutter of a butterfly’s wings can create a ripple effect halfway around the world, imagine how Africa can one day lead the world with the symbolic flutter of the magnificent African elephant’s ear.

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