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News around Africa - January 21, 2021

Kenya and Iran Join Force to Launch World’s Biggest Tech Hub in Nairobi

Iran has joined the list of foreign nations trying to tap into the abundance of opportunities in Africa’s tech space.

The Middle East country has built a rare tech hub named ‘Iran House of Innovation and Technology (IHIT)’ in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. The hub has been described as the “first of its kind in Africa and the biggest in the world”, according to the Iranian ambassador to Kenya, Jafar Barmaki.

The IHIT centre is aimed at providing a platform for Kenyan and Iranian companies to network and exchange business ideas which as a result would foster partnerships and joint ventures. The hub would also offer workspaces and Internet connections for entrepreneurs from both nations.

A high powered delegation from Iran would arrive Kenya next week for the unveiling of the hub. The 40-man team is expected to be led by the Iranian vice president for science and technology Sorena Sattari.

The delegation would also include representatives of companies in the fields of petrochemical, renewable energy, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

“In our foreign policy, we consider Kenya a friendly county equipped with good infrastructure and through which we can reach the other countries of the region,” Business Daily quoted Dr. Barmaki as saying.

Economic analysts in Kenya believe that Iran benefits more from the trade relationship with the East African nation.

In 2019, Kenya reportedly imported goods valued at over 10.4 billion Kenyan Shillings, five times more than 2.12 billion Shillings worth of exports made in the same period.


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