By Johnson Chengo
The much awaited construction of Sh 39 billion Dongo Kundu Special economic Zone in Mombasa will kick off soon in Mombasa.
This is according to Trade, Investments and Industry Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria.
He said that the project will be launched soon adding that preparations to launch the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone are at an advanced stage.
Kuria, who spoke after touring the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) headquarters in Mombasa, noted that the special economic zone will be a logistics and industrial hub in the port city of Mombasa.
“The project will be a game changer in the region with common user facilities, a free port, free trade zone, industrial park, logistics zone and public utility area with a 12 kilometers supporting road network,” he said.
Kuria hinted that the government will be floating a tender for the land development in the local and international media to attract investments, the work is expected to start by the end of March 2023.
“We will advertise for expression of interest to attract investments in Agro-processing industries, oil and gas, petrochemical industries, green energy and renewables, blue economy and water desalination and service provision,” he added.
Others are heavy metal and steel, cotton, textile and apparel, pharmaceuticals, automobile industry, transport and freight logistics services, warehousing, cargo bulk-breaking and consolidation services and business support services.
According to Kuria the special economic zone is expected to be operationalized with effect from July 2023 adding that infrastructure is the bedrock of socio-economic development in any country.
“KPA has set aside Sh.1.4 billion to compensate persons who will be displaced by the mega project and the resettlement and compensation process will be spearhead by the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) under the stewardship of the Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) Rhoda Onyancha,” he added.
Those who accompanied him during the tour include Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir, Principal Secretaries (PSs) Abubakar Hassan Abubakar (state department for investment and promotion) and Alex Wachira (state department of energy).
“The SEZ will be developed on 3,000 acres of land,” he said.
Governor Nassir said that the project was long overdue since it will address unemployment in the coastal city and other neighboring coastal counties.
“Mombasa was the most ideal location for an SEZ and once complete is expected to increase Foreign Direct Investments in the country by at least Sh100 billion according to stakeholders,” added the governor.
The project will see the resettlement and compensation of 1,582 affected persons in the area.