Top executives from leading US corporations have shown strong confidence in Kenya during a visit by President William Ruto, with tech giant Apple expressing interest in establishing a developer’s academy in the country.
President Ruto, on a business tour in the United States, met with CEOs including Tim Cook of Apple, Patrick Gelsinger of Intel, Ruth Porat, the CFO of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Brad Smith, Microsoft’s COO, as well as executives from Nike, GAP, and Levi Strauss in San Francisco.
These companies expressed their confidence in Kenya as an attractive investment destination. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, mentioned the possibility of setting up a developer’s academy in Kenya and exploring the country’s potential for green data centers.
President Ruto also hinted at a potential partnership between Apple and Safaricom’s M-Pesa, aiming to integrate M-Pesa with the Apple Pay platform to expand its global reach.
Intel’s CEO, Mr. Gelsinger, regarded Kenya as a promising investment location. Brad Smith noted Kenya’s impressive returns on investment, making it an appealing destination for American venture capital. He emphasized that Kenya’s solutions, particularly in connectivity and energy, are under-explored.
Ruth Porat from Google pledged a US dollar 1 billion (Ksh147 billion) investment in Africa to enhance digital training and innovation initiatives. Visa Global President Oliver Jenkyn acknowledged Kenya’s pivotal role in Visa’s presence in East Africa and announced that Kenya would host Visa’s global digital innovation studio.
President Ruto extended an invitation to American technology companies to establish manufacturing operations and regional offices in Kenya. He highlighted Kenya’s conducive investment environment, including economic stability, security, innovation, a skilled labor force, technological expertise, green energy capabilities, and robust data connectivity through six undersea fiber-optic cables.
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The President assured investors that the government would attentively address any concerns they may have, further boosting their confidence in Kenya as a prime investment destination.