Ruto urges China to pump more money into energy and housing

Energy PS Alex Wachira and Lyu Zexiang sign a power modernisation deal with China's Energy International Group. [PSC, Standard]

President William Ruto has urged Chinese investors to explore existing opportunities in Kenya.

His statement came as Chinese honchos pledged to support the implementation of infrastructure projects including roads, railways, air transport and ICT.

The President said Kenya will support foreign investors who can engage in value addition of the country’s abundant raw materials, especially in the energy, water and housing sectors.

“We have many opportunities in our country that you can explore especially in the areas of energy, water and housing,” said Ruto.

He made the remarks Monday when he made an extensive tour of China’s Engineering Corporation Limited in Beijing, China.

The company deals with energy integration solutions, construction and contracting, equipment and manufacturing, integrated ecosystem restoration and urban development operations. During the tour, Ruto witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and Energy China. 

The MoU entails optimising the flexibility and reliability of the electrical power system; planning, designing, transforming and modernisation of power generation, transmission lines, distribution lines and substations.

Other aspects of the MoU are; utilising or unlocking the potential of renewable energy and advanced energy storage for supporting higher domestic energy sufficiency and electricity interchange; digitalisation, modernising and innovative management of power systems and power plants.

The MoU was signed by Energy PS Alex Wachira on behalf of Kenya while Lyu Zexiang signed on behalf of China Energy International Group.

Chairman of the organisation Song Hailiang said they were ready to collaborate with Kenya in projects aimed at transforming the lives of its citizens.

“We already have our projects running in Kenya and we want to explore other opportunities,” said Hailiang.

Kenya also signed an MoU with Huawei telecommunications company to promote digital transformation.

Ruto witnessed the MoU after a tour of Huawei Beijing Exhibition.

The MoU was signed by the Principal Secretary of the State Department of ICT and the Digital Economy of Kenya, Eng John Tanui, his Foreign Affairs counterpart Korir Sing’oei and Gao Fei, CEO of Huawei Kenya. 

Meanwhile, a senior member of China’s Communist Party political bureau Li Xi said his country identifies with Ruto’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

He said the model seeks to spur economic growth from the bottom of the country’s social pyramid.

“Your bottom-up economic approach is aligned to President Xi Jinping’s belief and we will support your programmes,” said Li Xi, when he hosted Ruto.

Among the projects China is keen to invest in include road construction, expansion of the Standard Gauge Railway, modernisation of the country’s airports and ICT sector.

“China and Kenya have a shared dream of eradicating poverty,” Li said. 

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