City on the move: Nakuru, Kenya
Approximately 160km north-west of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, lies the city of Nakuru. According to Margaret Komen, CEO of Kenyan chilli exporter Mace Foods, it is poised for growth and provides many opportunities for investors. “I think Nakuru can become the next big hub in the country. Firstly, because of how strategically it is located,” she says.
The city is situated on the main highway connecting Nairobi with the western region and neighbouring Uganda. Construction work to upgrade the main road between Nairobi and Nakuru is due to start in September while the Nakuru airport is expected to be completed in August 2022.
Komen believes the area is ripe for agricultural development, both the cultivation of crops as well as the processing thereof. “There is enough land available on the western part of the city and to the north.”
Apart from agriculture, real estate is another opportunity that warrants investment, says Komen. “In between Nairobi and Nakuru lies the lush and beautiful area of Lake Naivasha, which provides great opportunities for tourism and travel. The opportunity for accommodation and restaurant facilities are ample.”
She thinks investors should take a long-term view on the development opportunities of the city. “If you look at a time horizon of 10 to 20 years, Nairobi is going to burst out of its seams. It is already happening to the east. If this starts happening to the west, you could have the perfect merger between the capital and Nakuru. It could create one big urban and suburban corridor that provides opportunities for investors to get involved already now,” Komen says.