Kenya: New Team Picked to Make Nairobi World Financial Hub

The Nairobi skyline.
12 November 2013

NATIONAL Treasury has kicked in motion plans to turn Nairobi into a global financial hub with appointment of a new ten-member steering committee to establish Nairobi International Financial Centre.

Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich appointed the committee through a gazette notice last Friday to spearhead the grand plan, first initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he was finance minister in 2010.

The new team replaces the one that had been appointed by Uhuru in March 2011, although most of the members from the private sector have been retained. The committee appointed on Monday will be chaired by principal secretary at Treasury Kamau Thugge.

Solicitor general Njee Muturi, acting chief registrar of judiciary Kaikai Kissinger, Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung'u and secretary of National Economic and Social Council Julius Muia will represent the public sector.

The managing partner and CEO of Fanisi Capital Ayisi Makatiani, Kenya Bankers association chief executive Habil Olaka and chairman of Association of Insurers Mark Obuya have been roped in to represent private sector interest.

Others from the private sector are Britam Asset Managers' business development manager Anne Kibebe and head of business development and retail at Stanbic Investment Management Services Anne Muya.

The proposed Nairobi International Financial Centre seeks to provide special incentives to financial investors. It targets investment groups, stock brokerage firms, pension funds, banks and insurance companies to set up offices in the city.

The committee will establish the financial centre and align it with policy objectives within the financial services sector, the notice said. It is expected to develop a favourable legal, regulatory and institutional framework borrowing from emerging nations and international best practices, borrowing from Johannesburg, London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich and Dubai.

The committee will further "identify, recommend and approve funding options" for the centre. The taskforce will regulate its own procedure and will be based at the National Treasury.

Its establishment is part of efforts to boost national savings to 30 per cent of gross domestic product product as captured in Vision 2030 from the prevailing 18 per cent levels.

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