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Chinese contractors helping to bridge Kenya’s housing deficit: industry source

By Xinhua

NAIROBI, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Chinese contractors are boosting Kenya’s quest to bridge the country’s housing deficit, industry players said on Saturday. Kenneth Mbae, the managing director of Centum Real Estate, an investment firm with operations in East Africa, told a financial forum in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya that the housing deficit in Kenya is in excess of 2 million units whereas the annual demand stands at 200,000 units. “We have many Chinese developers participating in supplying the 50,000 units that are built every year by the property sector,” Mbae said during the third Abojani economic empowerment conference. The conference brought together more than 100 financial and investment experts to discuss ways to exploit investment opportunities in Kenya. Mbae added that the Chinese contractors have been instrumental in getting many housing projects off the ground and supplying best-in-class technical skills, knowledge transfer, and bringing an upgrading in the construction skill set in the country. He observed that many property developers also source construction materials from China in order to improve the quality and competitiveness of their housing units. Mbae revealed that the Chinese contractors have also introduced advanced housing technologies that allow investors to complete projects at a faster rate hence improving returns from the property sector. Robert Ochieng, the CEO of Kenyan-based financial advisory firm Abojani Investment, said that the entry of Chinese contractors has expanded the supply of affordable housing units in Kenya. Ochieng observed that real estate has emerged as a profitable asset class in the country, adding that the Chinese contractors have partnered with local firms to build highly competitive and affordable units. Enditem

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