Toyota to set up manufacturing plant in Kenya

Toyota Motor Corporation sign at a car dealership in Nova Scotia, Canada. [iStockphoto]

Kenya and Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan have signed an agreement that will see the company set up a vehicle manufacturing plant in the country. 

President William Ruto said Kenya is enhancing its partnership with Toyota to bolster vehicle manufacturing in the country. 

Ruto said Kenya is keen on reducing the number of secondhand imported vehicles. He pointed out that Kenya imports up to 10,000 used vehicles every month, a figure he said was too high. 

The Head of State assured that the partnership between Kenya and Toyota will ensure locally manufactured vehicles are affordable and thus discourage the purchase of used cars. 

“We must have a balance between the number of imported and newly manufactured vehicles,” he said. 

He made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan president Ichiro Kashitani in Tokyo. 

The President said Kenya will offer incentives, including tax, to support Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Kenya. This will advance the country's agenda to support local industry and create opportunities for skilled Kenyans. 

“Kenya is open for business that will benefit both the people of Kenya and Japan,” he said. 

Mr Kashitani promised that Toyota will support Kenya’s ambitious plan of setting up a vehicle manufacturing plant for the country and the region.

“I am encouraged by the strong desire by the government of Kenya to upgrade our engagement from import of second-hand vehicles to manufacture of new vehicles for the Kenyan market,” he said. 

Kenya and Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan also signed agreements of cooperation in the green energy value chain, including wind, solar and geothermal development, and promotion of Hydrogen Electric Vehicles. 

The organisation will support the development of the Sh15 billion Meru Wind Power Project, Menengai Geothermal Plant worth Sh75 billion and Sh8 billion Isiolo solar power projects. 

“We are committing to support Kenya’s efforts to develop clean green energy in its commendable efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Kashitani. 

President Ruto urged Japanese companies to invest in Kenya's manufacturing sector and enjoy the country’s abundant renewable energy resources that are cost-effective. 

“I ask Japan to focus more on industrial development investment in Kenya and utilise the power we seek to generate,” he said. 

The President said Kenya is also keen on manufacturing its own transformers to reduce power losses in transmission. 

The agreements were signed by Cabinet Secretaries Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum), Kipchumba Murkomen (Roads and Transport) and Rebecca Miano (Investment, Trade and Industry). 

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said President Ruto has taken the lead in driving the campaign on climate change in Africa.

“This agreement, especially on clean green energy, will go towards enhancing that initiative,” he added.

President Ruto has been on a three-day visit to Japan.

By AFP 23 hrs ago
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