Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed Toyota Corporation's investment in the country, saying it is an endorsement of the confidence the company has in Kenya.
Speaking today in Nairobi when he launched the Toyota Tshusho Corporate Social Venture Fund for Africa, President Kenyatta termed the multinational's initiatives 'a major boost to the Government's efforts to create employment for the youth'.
He noted that the Fund - with capital provided by Toyota Corporation -will promote and co-finance income generating projects that Kenyan youth have chosen for themselves.
"It will complement the Government's Uwezo and Youth Fund initiatives, hastening employment creation and economic development," the President said.
The President also opened the Toyota Kenya Academy and the company's new business park in Nairobi.
"Now, Toyota Kenya and its parent company, Toyota Corporation, have very clearly understood our needs and - amid all the excitement in and around us - have quietly gone about committing substantial resources to complement the Government's efforts to address Kenyans' needs," he said.
With Kenya's young population, the President said the Government's increased investment in the education sector will equip the youth with skills to transform the country into a middle income economy within the set time.
"Ours is to build on this legacy, and to make certain that not a single one of our talents is lost," President Kenyatta said.
Noting that the Toyota Kenya Academy will partner with the Uwezo Fund to build hands-on capacity for the youth and women, the President said the move is an example of the private-public partnership which the Government supports.
Besides direct employment opportunities within Toyota Kenya as a result of the Business Park, the President said many Kenyan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have also sprung up to offer various services to the Park.
He lauded the assembling of Hino commercial vehicles in the country, saying it provides technology transfer and employment opportunities for Kenyans at the assembly plant. It also offers opportunities for the SMEs who supply various components and build bodies for the buses and trucks, the President said.
The President commended Toyota Kenya and Toyota Corporation for their contribution towards the realization of Vision 2030 goals in line with the flagship projects they are undertaking under the MOU they signed with the Vision 2030 Delivery Board.
"I am also pleased to note that, Toyota Corporation has taken a bold and encouraging decision to invest in a Fertilizer plant in Kenya," the President said, adding that it will bolster the Government's efforts to make Kenya food secure.
Toyota Kenya chairman Dennis Awori said the Company is set to diversify its operations to other sectors of the economy so as to create more opportunities to the youth in the country.
He said the new projects the company will be involved in include 280 MW Geothermal Power Plant, Gantry Cranes for the new 2nd container Terminal, the Fertilizer plant, the Desalination Water and Sewerage Plant for Mombasa and the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline network.
Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed and his Devolution counterpart Anne Waiguru commended the company for its expansion plans saying the Toyota Kenya Academy which is a purpose-built vocational learning institution will impart relevant skills and knowledge required by the youth to enable them compete effectively with others in the job market.
Other speakers included Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Tatsuhi Terada, the Chairman Toyota Tshusho Corporation Japan Mr. Junzo Shimizu and the Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero.