Chinese firm to build Sh10bn Africa hub in Nairobi

An impression of the Sh9.6 billion complex.
An impression of the Sh9.6 billion complex. PHOTO/COURTESY
Chinese manufacturing giant Avic International will this week break ground for its proposed Sh9.6 billion Africa hub in Nairobi after obtaining approval from city leaders.

The company said on Friday that it had received all the requisite approvals from City Hall for the 250,000-square metre complex after it paid permit fees amounting to Sh97.2 million.

The Avic complex will sit on a 7.5-acre plot in Westlands – bordering Villa Rosa Kempinski, ARM Cement headquarters and the upcoming Mirage Towers.

The facility will comprise a 43-level office tower; a 35-level hotel tower; and four apartment towers of 24 levels, 28 levels, 24 levels and 25 levels respectively.

It will also include a 4-level commercial podium on the western side of Chiromo Lane connected to a 5-level podium on the side of the lane with a 2-level bridge.

The project will be completed in five years.

Avic Africa director Huang Hong You said the company decided to set up its Africa offices in Nairobi not only because of its close relationship with Kenya but due to the country’s conducive business environment.

“Our company has established over 110 branches in more than 50 countries. In Africa, we have around 20 branches, and Kenya is planned as our headquarters in Africa,” Huang said.

Avic International becomes the first Chinese company to set up its Africa headquarters in Kenya, a move that China Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa says will see more Chinese firms investing into the country.

“I would like our companies to now transform from just contractors of various project here in Kenya and become investors,” Liu said.

Chinese firms are undertaking some of the biggest projects in Kenya, including the construction of Unit 4 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Greenfield Terminal, Two Rivers estate in Runda and UAP Towers in Upper Hill.

The firms also dominate the short list of contractors lining up for tenders in phase one of Kenya’s 10,000-kilometres roads project, which will be funded through the annuity financing scheme.