A chinese contractor, Damei Investment Company, announced early 2019 that it is planning to construct a mega city in Athi River dubbed Friendship city, at an estimated cost of Ksh. 200 Billion. The city will be constructed on a 1200 acre piece of land and is estimated to employ at least 1500 Kenyans at the beginning but in the long term it shall accommodate more that 1 Million people working in the city.
The city shall be awarded a Special economic Zone (SEZ) status as it meets the conditions. “The major selling point of SEZs in Kenya is the tax shields offered within the confines of an SEZ. Particularly, from a tax perspective, SEZs are considered to be outside the customs territory of Kenya, thereby operating within a jurisdictional bubble that shields investors from taxes and similar regulatory hurdles that directly or indirectly impede trade,” said Mr Jiannan Bao, the director of Damei Investment Company.
The development shall be undertaken as a joint venture between Chinese firm Damei Investment Company and Kenya’s Zuri Group.
Friendship City will include five separate functional parks. It will also include homes, commercial facilities and public amenities like hospitals, schools and shopping malls all in one location.
This comes after Konza Technopolis also known as African Silicon Savanna and Tatu City. The former has encountered many hitches that has delayed its development and currently very few activities are going on and is behind schedule. Tatu City on the other hand is a bit busy with a number of developments having been done. Since Friendship city is expected to have ready funds to inject into the project, it is expected that it shall be completed over shorter period of time.
Other cities that are expected to shape up in the near future are Tilisi in Limuru which construction is ongoung, Newtown on the Greater Esatern bypass by Cyton which is yet to commence, and Northlands City by Kenyatta family in Ruiru which is still under design.