Tatu City hosts COMESA Secretariat
COMESA Secretariat visits Tatu City mixed-use SEZ for benchmarking
Tatu City, Kenya, 19 April 2023 – Tatu City Special Economic Zone, the 5,000-acre new city on Nairobi’s doorstep, hosted the Secretariat of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for knowledge exchange at Tatu City, the first operational mixed-use Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the region.
Led by Lucas Mwago, Chief Trade Development Officer at Kenya’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, the COMESA Secretariat delegation of trade and SEZ experts discussed design, taxation regulatory framework, infrastructure requirements, planning and development.
Tatu City Executive Vice President Solomon Mahinda said, “There are very important lessons we have learnt over time in Kenya, which we are glad to share with other COMESA member states with similar visions. The areas of market access and rules of origin are critical areas where we are keen to collaborate and facilitate knowledge-sharing opportunities with other African nations.”
Providence Mavumbi, Director of Industry & Agriculture Division-Zambia in the COMESA Secretariat, expressed enthusiasm about the learning opportunity, stating, “We are impressed by the level of planning, design and execution of Tatu City’s mixed-use vision. Integrating residential, commercial, and recreational spaces sustainably and in an aesthetically pleasing way is commendable. As COMESA, we want to create and support a collaborative trading environment between member states. SEZs are critical to these efforts, and we are in the process of adopting the right policies to help member countries set up similar developments to promote trade and regional market access.”
“Our mission at Tatu City is to appreciate and learn from a team that has already established a functioning mixed-use SEZ,” said Mr. Mwago. “This is a great opportunity for governments to learn from the private sector, measure ourselves against a successful developer such as Tatu City and see how we can expand SEZ developments in Kenya and other COMESA nations.”
Last year, Tatu City hosted Ugandan members of parliament for a learning tour on establishing mixed-use Special Economic Zones. More recently, Kenya’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry and the Council of Governors visited the city as the government looks to develop industrial parks and SEZs in each of Kenya’s 47 counties.
Dozens of companies operate in Tatu City’s business-friendly location, including Kenya Wine Agencies Limited, Dormans, Copia, Cooper K-Brands, Grit Real Estate Income Group, Twiga Foods, CCI Global, Freight Forwarders Solutions, Friendship Group and Davis & Shirtliff. More than 3,000 homes and apartments are occupied or under construction at Unity Homes and the Kijani Ridge neighbourhood.