Nairobi Gate opens first special economic zone in East Africa with gazetted customs control area

Nairobi Gate Industrial Park has launched the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a gazetted customs control area in East Africa. This consolidation will allow businesses operating from Nairobi Gate additional efficiencies including a one-stop shop for regulatory agencies including the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, customs, and the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).

Speaking at the launch, Hon. Abubakar Hassan Abubakar, Principal Secretary State Department for Investment Promotion, underscored the importance of industrial parks in driving investment within the country in addition to accelerating manufacturing in and promoting skills exchange, noting that the industrial park has already created 434 direct and indirect jobs, and is expected to generate at least 10,000 job opportunities as it progresses.

“This inauguration is in alignment with the Kenyan government’s vision and commitment to developing and implementing investment policies, and to coordinate the promotion of private investment into the Kenyan economy, including both foreign and domestic investment. It signals to us, and to the world at large, that Kenya remains an attractive investment destination,” said Hon. Abubakar.

Developed by Improvon Group, Nairobi Gate SEZ was meticulously designed to align with the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA) requirements. This involved housing all relevant government agencies within the zone, including revenue, port, and customs control agencies, as well as entities like the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and others.

So far, the developers of the Nairobi Gate Industrial Park have invested US $40 million with a commitment to invest up to US $160 million by the year 2035.

Dean Shillaw, Managing Director of Impact North SEZ, owner of Nairobi Gate Industrial Park, explained that the SEZ will provide additional value for businesses, stating: “Because the Special Economic Zone is effectively an extension of Kenya’s border for imports and exports, a one-stop solution had to be provided to house all relevant government agencies. This allows us to provide unprecedented levels of ease for our tenants while allowing them to thrive within a well-planned industrial park. In addition to the warehousing and infrastructure, we have also installed multiple state-of-the-art weigh bridges, customs-controlled gatehouses and other security measures that will allow the zone to operate as a fully functional and comprisable area.”

Dr. Kenneth Chelule CEO of the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA), emphasized the significance of Nairobi Gate, as it marks the first SEZ to fully integrate customs control provisions within the zone, following recent legislative developments.

“As SEZA, we believe that the Nairobi Gate Industrial Park represents the flagship SEZ that will unlock significant economic growth opportunities and create multiple jobs, positioning Kenya to compete not only regionally but on the international stage as a manufacturing destination of choice,” said Dr. Chelule.

Nairobi Gate offers a ‘built to suit’ concept, in response to the demand for flexible, grade A light-industrial properties. It stands out with its excellent access, efficient truck circulation, ample loading facilities, multiple roller shutter doors, and generous height for pallet storage capacity. The development is ideal for accommodating international warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing businesses, as well as local entities specializing in high-value items like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, electronics, and engineering components, FMCG and cold-chain storage.

Strategically aligned with Nairobi’s 2030 spatial development plan, Nairobi Gate offers turnkey projects, ranging from mini units of 5,000 square feet to warehouses of 400,000 square feet, along with land sale options.

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