Kenya joins steering committee of Africa Economic Zones Organization

Tatu City is has been identified as a model for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Tatu City was recognized at the 2023 Africa Economic Zones Organization (AEZO) SEZ Annual Meeting in Morocco as one of nine African ESG model SEZs by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Only 50 SEZs were conferred special status out of an estimated 5,000 SEZs worldwide.

The zones were chosen based on their commitment to sustainable development, promotion of SDG-focused investments and adherence to ESG standards.

According to UNCTAD estimates, the world has over 5,000 SEZs, with more than 90% of them in developing countries, including 250 in Africa. Kenya has more than 30 licensed SEZs including Tatu City, establishing the country as an important African investment destination.

(Left to right) Dr. Ahmed Bennis, Managing Director at Tanger Med Zones and Secretary General of Africa Economic Zones Organization (AEZO), hands over an ESG model award to Thomas Mwaengo, Tatu City’s SEZ Operations Manager, during the AEZO SEZ Annual meeting in Morocco.

Angela Muthoga, Tatu City’s Sustainability & Corporate Partnerships Manager said that Tatu City has long been the SEZ industry champion for global best practices in Kenya, and the recognition as an ESG model demonstrates Tatu’s ongoing commitment to upholding the highest ESG principles.

“Rendeavour is Africa’s largest new city builder. A key part of our success is ensuring that social purpose is at the heart of everything we do. Our four pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility, namely Education, Community, Healthcare, and Conservation, are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) and are motivated by a desire to positively impact the communities and environments in which we do business,” said Muthoga.

At the same event, Kenya was elected to the Steering Committee of AEZO with 24 votes out of 60, followed by Guinea with 11 votes.

AEZO is a continental organisation comprising leading public and private institutions in charge of the development, management, and promotion of economic zones in Africa.

(Left to right) Dr. Ahmed Bennis, Managing Director at Tanger Med Zones and Secretary General of Africa Economic Zones Organization (AEZO), Thomas Mwaengo, Tatu City’s SEZ Operations Manager and Dr Kenneth Chelule, CEO of Special Economic Zones Authority, during the AEZO SEZ Annual meeting in Morocco.

It has 82 members representing 42 African countries. Tatu City is the regional office for the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), of which AEZO is a member.

“We take great pride in this major milestone for Kenya, having been the pioneering signatories for AEZO at a time when there was very little awareness about the association despite the significant benefits that come with membership, including networking with the global zones community, and raising the credibility of our country’s SEZs,” said Thomas Mwaengo, Tatu City’s SEZ Operations Manager.

Speaking about the developments, Abubakar Hassan Abubakar, Principal Secretary, State Department for Investment Promotion at the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, said the selection of Tatu City, along with Konza Technopolis, was a clear demonstration of Kenya’s progress in Africa’s sustainable economic development.

“Incorporating green policies in the development of SEZs is paramount not only to achieve economic growth but also to meet our country’s commitments to the UN’s sustainable development goals and our nationally determined contributions,” said Abubakar.

In recognition of the Kenyan government’s support for SEZs as an important tool in driving sustainable economic development, Kenya will host the AEZO General Assembly in 2024, according to the PS.

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