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Kenya’s Tech Startup Ecosystem is Looking to Attract even more Overseas Interest with New Hub

The International Financial Center in Nairobi is slated to officially launch in June, offering foreign investors in the financial sector special deals—including taxes and immigration incentives—and space in the new building. Firms seeking to join the center are required to pay a certification fee of around $8,620 and an annual fee around $4,310, according to regulations published by the country’s national treasury. Already two firms are on board, according to press releases. British underwriter Prudential Plc announced plans to set up its Africa headquarters in Nairobi, while TheCityUK, which offers financial and related services, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding. (MoU). The new center’s opening comes only a month after an elevated highway, designed to reduce the commuter time from Nairobi’s airport to its city center and main business areas, opened on May 14. Commuter time from the airport to the Westlands area using the new, tolled, highway—which previously could take hours—has been advertised as just 10 minutes. Kenya has pointed to this and other infrastructure projects as proof of its commitment to making its business environment more conducive for regional headquarters or hubs.