French firms seeking a piece of the pie in Kenya – investors flocking in from Paris
By Rolex Owino
France24, the international news channel based in Paris, has launched a free to air channel in Kenya in what is seen as a renewed appetite for Nairobi, Kenya – as a central hub for French firms aiming to penetrate the Eastern African marketplace.
France24, that has become the first international news channel from either Europe or America to offer free to air content in Kenya, will kick off its coverage by highlighting Kenya’s superior advancement in ICT – compared to its other East African neighbours.
In its technology show, Tech24 seeks to celebrate Kenya’s pole position in championing innovation – by visiting Nairobi’s iHub, which has been the springboard for many successful tech start-ups.
The show will also highlight research and development at Konza City, the Silicon Valley of Africa and take a look at the projects that have been a success and what the world can learn from them.
This major development follows the signing of an agreement with SIGNET, a subsidiary of the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation, the new channel will be accessible free-to-air in most metro areas, including: Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Embu, Kisii, Kisumu, Machakos, Maralal, Mombasa, Murang’a, Naivasha, Nakuru, Narok, Nyeri, Webuye, Yala and Siaya.
The channel launch is thought to be in line with international investors’ view that Kenya provides a great opportunity for tapping into its strategic location, pool of talented entrepreneurs, burgeoning middle class, infrastructural growth and discovery of natural resources – that have spurred an appetite for information.
The launch coincides with the re-launch of Air France, which has returned to the Kenyan market after an 18 years absence.
While launching Air France, the airline senior vice president for Africa Franl Legre said: “To date, we have over 80 French companies that have selected Nairobi as their regional hub and this is one of the many opportunities we are looking to tap.”
Other French companies that have strengthened their presence in Kenya include Peugeot and Michelin.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.