By Isaac Blessings
Kenya has 42 billionaires whose worth is more than Kes3 billion (US$30 million), according to a report released by Knight Frank’s global wealth in 2020. Another 9,600 Kenyans are in the exclusive club of the ‘ultra wealthy’-who pretty much control the country’s gross domestic product. It’s unfortunate that only a few of these super wealthy individuals are doing projects that are beneficial to the common mwananchi. However, this one billionaire, David Lagat, is determined to change that by building a Ksh 200 billion project that is expected to not only create over 40,000 job opportunities, but to transform the whole of North Rift into a major commercial hub. In this article, we take a look at the man behind Eldoret Industrial Park.
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David Lagat is a Kenyan Billionaire and the chairman of the famous DL Group. He is also the main man behind the Eldoret Industrial Park. The 56 year old founded the DL Group in the late 1980s and the company has steadily grown to become one of the most successful companies in East Africa. The journey began while based in Mombasa where the company was involved in the business of importing and exporting equipment such as electronics and furniture. The company later expanded into the tea production through the DL Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi county and Kapchebet Tea Factory in Kericho. This venture became a boom and has since expanded to Tanzania where it is the leading Tea producer.
In 2016, the businessman set up a kes249 million tea factory in Nandi to take on the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and multinational companies, which have dominant players in the sector.
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Joining the real estate sector
The company ventured into the real estate sector and was among the pioneers of shopping malls in Mombasa. One of their big projects is the 330,000 square feet Nyali Mall which has become a center of social and business life in Mombasa. The mall hosts spacious offices, meeting halls, restaurants, banks and showrooms among other facilities available in the biggest mall in Mombasa. In 2012, the billionaire opened Selenkei Investment Limited – a company based in Mombasa that generates electricity from solar energy. The company’s success in manufacturing, agriculture and real estate has made the reclusive billionaire one of the wealthiest people in Kenya.
Eldoret Industrial Park
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The project will be undertaken in the Plateau area, Uasin Gishu County – just 40 kilometers from Eldoret town. The project is being undertaken by a Chinese firm known as Guangdong New South Group. The Ksh 200 billion project, which is the first privately –owned Special Economic Zone, will be undertaken in three phases and is expected to be fully complete within 10 years.
Also Read: Mombasa Cement Billionaire Hasu Patel: From Feeding 40,000 People To Transforming Dumpsite To Sh700 Million Recreational Park
Phase one – The AEZ Pearl River
The AEZ Pearl River sits on a 700 acre piece of land and will be mainly targeting agro-processing, energy, machinery, engineering, electronic, construction, ICT, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries. The first phase will be the Special Economic Zone.
Phase Two – Science and Technology
The second phase would be a Science and Technology hub sitting in an 86 acre piece of land. It will also have a convention center, administrative, residential and green zones.
Phase Three – Recreational Zone
The third and final zone that is sitting in a 1,000 acre piece of land will be a recreational zone. The zone will consist of a stadium, 18-hole golf course and a residential zone of three and four bedroom apartments. The zone will also include an incubation center for university students and a world-class Olympia City.
The Idea Behind Eldoret Industrial Park
David Lagat in an interview with one of the local dailies said that he got the idea of starting the industrial park back in 2013 when he was driving through the streets of Eldoret. He noticed the industrious efforts and enthusiasm of young people in the town and felt a strong urge to support them with an Industrial park that will transform their livelihoods and generate a decent income for them. Consequently, the idea of the Eldoret Industrial Park was born making it the first ever privately owned Special Economic Zone in Kenya.
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