The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: The Best News of the Week

editorial

In a launch which did not get the publicity it fully deserves, the proprietors of the Village Market shopping mall complex announced mid-week, that they will be expanding their landmark investment starting next month.

Specifically, the complex has received a Sh. 5Billion loan from Equity Bank, which will be used for the construction of a 187-room, 500-person conference facility within their spacious grounds. There will also be 75 additional retail outlets, more restaurants, children's' play areas, etc.

The opportunity that the developers see, is in the field of incentives, conferences and exhibitions, for which Kenya has every opportunity of growing into the regional hub.

Nobody in Kenya needs to be reminded that our recent experience of shopping malls, has not been a happy one. Wounds inflicted by the terrorists attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall, have still not healed. And we have been repeatedly threatened that there is more of the same ahead of us, if the Kenya Defense Force does not withdraw from Somalia.

Security checks at Kenya's shopping malls and other public buildings, have been so greatly upgraded that the average shopper is inclined to limit the number of visits paid to such places.

It is within this context that the decision by the proprietors of the Village Market to expand their operations - as well as that by Equity Bank to lend them all this money for this purpose - is a signal vote of confidence in the future of this country.

Foreign diplomatic missions may (with some justification) issue travel advisories against visits to Kenya; and the tourism sector may be staggering in the wake of all those canceled bookings.

But the proprietors of the Village Market - by their bold investment decision - have made it clear that they know that Kenya will in time move beyond these present tragedies: and that the country has a bright future.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Life becomes useless and insipid when we have no longer either friends or enemies." Queen Christina, Swedish royalty died on April 19,1689.

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