Korean Firms Scrambling For The Kenyan Space

by Business Watch Team

Korean firms are seeking entry into the Kenyan market to provide smart technologies as Kenya gears to step up its smart city game.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Korean Pavilion at the 2023 BIG 5 Construction Roadshow in Kenya, Korea Trade Development Agency (KOTRA) Eom Ikhyun says three Korean companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kenyan companies.

Korea GT has signed an MoU with SONVAR Chemicals, while POQUTEC has signed with Regal Equipment. SJ Chemical has signed an MoU with two Kenyan Companies Panafrican Business Enterprises (PABE), and Kleos Flooring.

The trend-setting companies are among the fifteen companies showcasing at the Korean Pavilion,  seeking to strengthen business ties with Kenyan counterparts, promising to bolster Kenya’s aspirations to become the digital and ICT hub of East Africa.

“The companies have brought forth technologies that are the building blocks of the smart, sustainable cities of tomorrow,” Eom said.

The technologies introduced by Korean companies include smart construction supervision systems, energy management systems, traffic safety systems, and water purification systems that can realize sustainable development in smart city construction projects. Kenya’s KONZA Technopolis, to which these technologies will be applied, will present the superior standards of smart cities across all African regions.

Some of the other companies showcasing include Hansol Homedeco, Jchem, SP Solled, Raum Architecture, Kevin Lab, Samsung, Kevin Lab, Kumkang Kind, Posco International, Geogrid, Teraenergy, and  Wise – Bridge, among others.

The Korean government has been cooperating with the Kenyan government in digital and ICT since 2008 and is focusing its efforts on developing the Konza Development Authority and Konza Smart City, especially so that Kenya can become a digital and ICT center in East Africa.

“The Korean government is laying the groundwork for Kenya’s Konza Smart City Development project through the Economic Development Experience Sharing Project (KSP) and the Economic Innovation Partnership Program (EIPP) and continues business cooperation by operating a smart city cooperation center. In September, it completed the second phase of the EIPP project,” South Korean Embassy, Ambassador  YEO Sungjun said.

In addition,  YEO revealed that the Kenya Institute of Science and Technology (Kenya-AIST) so-called ‘Kenya KAIST’ project, which began with EDCF funds from the Export-Import Bank of Korea, is set to be completed in March 2024. The South Korean government plans to accelerate the Konza DMC construction project following the Kenya KAIST project.

Kenya has been ranked 5th in the continent in the IMD Smart City Index 2023 and 131 globally.

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