Kenya has launched the Nairobi International Financial Centre which seeks to position the country as the preferred destination for the international business community and boost capital flows.
With technical assistance from the UK in its formative years, NIFC’s goal is to develop a more predictable and efficient business environment that encourages both domestic and foreign investment.
NIFC Acting CEO Oscar Njuguna said the centre aims to raise over $2 billion (Sh236 trillion) targeted incremental cumulative investments by 2030.
The centre will target global and regional businesses that provide large pools of capital, drive innovation and are committed to the highest standards of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance.
This includes private equity and venture capital firms, asset managers, insurance companies and financial services companies with a focus on fintech and green finance. Prudential Plc is the anchor client at the NIFC.
“The Nairobi International Financial Centre can play a key role in creating the right environment for fintech to thrive; for innovation and new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence to be mainstreamed; and for investors to inject new capital into businesses in Kenya and across the region,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta in his speech delivered by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua.
To support Kenya’s growing fintech industry, NIFC is committed to supporting and strengthening the Fintech Ecosystem and enabling innovative firms to establish and scale-up.
In collaboration with the CityUK, and stakeholders from both Kenya and the UK, NIFC, has developed a diagnostic report on Kenya’s fintech policy and regulatory environment, and on funding mechanisms.
“The UK-Kenya partnership continues to go from strength to strength, and I am happy to have witnessed this launch of the Nairobi International Financial Centre, which signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen collaboration with the City UK when President Kenyatta visited the UK last year. We look forward to unlocking new opportunities for UK and Kenyan businesses by strengthening links between Nairobi and the City of London,” said Jane Marriott OBE, British High Commissioner.
NIFC has also signed an MoU with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), to help increase financing and investment in the manufacturing sector in Kenya.
Firms considering conducting business through the NIFC must apply for certification from the NIFC Authority.
The NIFC Authority will provide a checklist of the required documentation and upon receipt will review and process all applications.
Certification is open to both domestic and international firms as long as they meet the requirements.
Nairobi joins Casablanca, Cape Town, Port Louis (Mauritius), and Johannesburg as IFCs in the continent.