Sh62 billion UAE fund to establish innovation centre in Kenya

This follows a meeting between Uhuru and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Uhuru Kenyatta meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates is set to establish an innovation and entrepreneurship centre in Kenya.

In an announcement by the official Emirates News Agency, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi issued the directive following a meeting between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The innovation and entrepreneurship centre will be established through the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Khalifa Fund was established in June 2007, as an independent agency of the Government of Abu Dhabi, to help develop local enterprises and currently has a capital base of AED 2 billion (Sh62 billion).

The innovation and entrepreneurship centre will focus on launching programmes, workshops and initiatives by Kenyan entrepreneurs.

The centre will also provide aspiring and established Kenyan entrepreneurs with guidance on how they can use innovation in their entrepreneurial endeavours to boost the national economy.

According to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Chairman Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, the directive is part of the UAE’s commitment to contribute towards empowering talented innovators and entrepreneurs around the world.

With centres such as these, we provide entrepreneurs with resources, support and guidance to contribute to their local and global economy, bringing about positive economic implications and security.

"This collaboration between the UAE and Kenya will see the two respective nations implement Khalifa Fund’s successful model to the new innovation and entrepreneurism centre with the aim of reflecting the same levels of achievement in Kenya as has been experienced in the UAE,” he said.

The Khalifa Fund was recently recognised as the best in the world by the Global Monitoring Index.

President Kenyatta has been on a working tour of the UAE and Belgium where he praised Kenya as the top investment destination in Africa.

During the Kenya business forum in Dubai, the president acknowledged a need for Kenya to adapt to investor-specific needs and remove the bureaucratic red tape that undermined trade.

We need to be the welcoming party. We are here to listen. We are here to facilitate. We are here to do what these investors require from us in order to come into our country to bring their investment, to help us create jobs, and to help us develop our economy,” President Kenyatta urged.

The head of state also attended the European Union African Union Summit in Brussels, Belgium where he emphasized the need for Africa and Europe to forge a mutually beneficial partnership that will boost agricultural production while at the same time addressing climate change concerns.

He underscored the importance of empowering rural women, saying they are critical in enhancing agricultural production, food security and nutrition as well as rural development.

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