- Ruto's administration has given Tanzania’s businessman Rostam Aziz, the chairperson of Taifa Gas Investment SEZ Limited, a 30-acre parcel of land at the Dongo Kundu to set up a 30,000 metric tonnes gas handling facility.
- Taifa Gas, which is headquartered in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, tried to access the Kenya market in 2007 but encountered some barriers.
Kenya is going to eliminate all the trade barriers with other East African countries to support cross-border investment and businesses, President William Ruto has said.
On Friday, after witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony of Sh16 billion gas plant at the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone, Ruto said the era of mistrust and punitive trade barriers within the EAC region has come to an end.
Ruto's administration has given Tanzania’s businessman Rostam Aziz, the chairperson of Taifa Gas Investment SEZ Limited, a 30-acre parcel of land at the Dongo Kundu to set up a 30,000 metric tonnes gas handling facility.
The company is investing USD130 million (SH16 billion) in a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) import, storage and distribution plant.
“The era of mistrust between East African countries must be behind us. We cannot continue to compete for investors from Asia, Europe, and America when we have investors next door,” said Ruto.
“Please take my message to my elder sister President of Tanzania (Samia Suluhu), that Kenya is open for business, please inform her that I appreciate that every time I send Kenyan investors into Tanzania, she gives them personal attention.”
Ruto said he will reciprocate to ensure that Tanzania’s investors are supported in Kenya.
Taifa Gas, which is headquartered in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, tried to access the Kenya market in 2007 but encountered some barriers.
Ruto assured Aziz that his administration will support the investment, which is poised to create 90,000 direct and indirect jobs after its completion in the next 12 months.
“You (Aziz) are very resilient investors, I know the struggles you have gone through to get to this day. This investment was to begin about five years ago, but because of bureaucracies and negative politics, this investment has been delayed,” said Ruto.
The Head of State said when he met Aziz some three months ago, he assured him that he would facilitate his investment within 90 days.
“I want to congratulate you my brother for not giving up and for being persistent and I want to tell you that the government of Kenya is going to work with your company and facilitate your investment.”
Ruto said already some 22 other investors have shown interest in the 3,000-acre parcel of land in Dongo Kundu SEZ, which faces the Port of Mombasa from the Likoni side.
“We are going to support the infrastructure that you are going to put up here, and Instead of the 30,000 metric tonne facility, I have agreed that he makes it a 45,000 metric tonnes facility so that we can increase storage of gas,” said Ruto.
Earlier on during his speech, Aziz had said it is cheaper to import goods from say China to Tanzania than from Kenya.
"Cross-border business between our countries is hard and faces a lot of barriers. It is way cheaper to import goods from China, India or Dubai but importing goods from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda is a very hard task. Mr President this is not okay, we should not be like this," Aziz said.
He asked President Ruto to reach out to his counterparts in the East African Community member states and strike out all the barriers that are making business between the countries hard.