William Ruto, the President of Kenya, has welcomed American technology companies to open regional offices there, claiming that the East African country is open to foreign investment.
President William Ruto met Apple CEO Tim Cook, Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger, Google parent Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat, and Microsoft COO Brad Smith while speaking at a San Francisco event organized as part of the United States-Kenya Business Roadshow.
The event also saw a three-city US-Kenya Roadshow tour that included New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. President William Ruto also met with executives from Levi Strauss, GAP, and Nike.
According to a statement from his office, “Kenya is a full package investment destination; economically stable, entrepreneurial, secure, innovative, with a favourable tax environment, and a skilled labour force.”
At the event streamed live on YouTube, he said that Kenya has a tax system that is friendly to business and that its data privacy laws have been updated to meet international standards.
However, President William Ruto’s administration approved the Finance Act of 2023, which instituted a new Digital Asset Tax of 3% targeted at digital companies, raising the cost of doing business in Kenya.
President William Ruto mentioned that Apple and Kenya’s Safaricom, a telecom business, had plans to extend M-Pesa, the mobile company’s platform for international money transfers, but he did not provide any other information.
Meg Whitman, the US ambassador to Kenya, noted on the occasion that Kenya is a popular location for venture capital and foreign direct investment.
During the event, several CEOs expressed interest in making investments in Kenya, according to the press release.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the corporation will take into consideration opening a developer academy.
Smith, the COO of Microsoft, claimed that American venture capital found Kenya to be a desirable location.
According to Porat of Alphabet, Google has promised to invest USD 1 billion in Africa to support its digital innovation and training programs.
The business promised to invest USD 1 in Africa over the next five years, with a substantial share going to Kenya, the only African nation to host Visa’s global digital innovation studio, according to Visa Global President Oliver Jenkyn.