The Government has designated 9,000 acres of land in Naivasha, Mombasa and Machakos as special economic zones (SEZs) as it steps up efforts to boost manufacturing.
Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya gazetted the zones Friday meaning they enjoy special tax and infrastructure that facilitate a wide range of activities such as storage, export and re-export.
“The Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Co-operatives on recommendation of Special Economic Zones Authority, declares all that land being title No. L.R. No. 8396/56, measuring 404.7 hectares (1,000 acres) in Mai-Mahiu area within Nakuru County to be a Special Economic Zone,” said Mr Munya.
The other two parcels of land include the 2,023 hectares (5,000 acres) in Malili Ranch that hosts Konza City on Mombasa Road, Machakos County and the 1,214.06 hectares (3,000 acres) parcel of land in Dongo Kundu area in Mombasa County.
Local and foreign investors have been seeking licences to put up 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) across the country, according the Industrialisation ministry.
The ministry earlier said the applications are being scrutinised with priority given to those eyeing use of locally produced raw materials to process products for export.
“Apart from Tatu City and Africa Economic Zones, Naivasha as well will be built, enabling manufacturing facilities enjoy access to cheap geothermal power and cheap Standard Gauge Railway transport to Mombasa port,” Adan Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community (EAC) and Regional Development earlier said.
Over 120 countries in the world are said to have SEZs which have contributed to over 50 million direct jobs according to studies.
Kenya announced early this year it will allocate land to South Sudan for construction of a dry port at the Naivasha special economic zone, making it the second country after Uganda to gain from the inland container depot.