Kenya may have to wait a little longer before it can have bragging rights for hosting the tallest skyscraper in Africa or just forget it altogether

The Palm Exotica design model. (cceonlinenews)
  • National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has put the entire project on hold, claiming the project violates several of its clauses.
  • Uncertainty also surrounds the project’s density parameter and proximity to the fragile marine environment.
  • Italian billionaire Franco Rosco together with New York and South Africa investors are the ones developing the 61-storey skyscraper.

Kenya may have to wait a little longer before it can have bragging rights for hosting the Tallest Skyscraper in Africa, the Palm Exotica, or just forget it altogether.

The country’s National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has put the entire project on hold, claiming the project violates several of its clauses therefore construction cannot go on.

Nema Acting Director General, Mamo Mamo confirmed the report and said the project is not in conformity with the existing planning framework: Zoning plans, and physical planning laws and regulations, survey regulations and Coast foreshore reservations and stability.

Uncertainty also surrounds the project’s density parameter and proximity to the fragile marine environment.

“Based on the above grounds and in light of the provisions of Environmental Management and Coordination Act, Cap 387, the authority is of the view that the proposed project will not enhance sustainable development and sound environmental management,” stated Mamo Mamo in a letter.

The authority thus ordered the investors to either re-design the project to conform with existing planning framework or seek an alternative site.

Standing at 370 metres, Palm Exotica on paper is the tallest skyscraper in Africa and taller by 70meters compared to Pinnacle Tower’s 300 metres, which is still under construction.

Italian billionaire Franco Rosco together with New York and South Africa investors are the ones developing the 61-storey skyscraper in Watamu, Kenya.

The proposed US $277m project is a mixed-use development that will feature tastefully furnished residential suites, eclectic restaurants and a vibrant 24-hour casino, a good feature for coastal entertainment.

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