“Singapore has no raw materials, was more or less in the state that Nairobi is but all that it took was the sheer will power of the Singaporeans to build Singapore. That’s why I keep saying that’s what I would like to see – Nairobians must love Nairobi. Currently we are four million people, bodies are in Nairobi but their hearts are not,” Kidero, the first governor of Nairobi, told CNBC Africa on Friday.
In order to shape the city after one such as Singapore, Kidero must overcome a number of economic challenges first, including the accumulated 53 billion shillings debt of the Nairobi City Council. He aims to do this by increasing Kenya’s revenues at least four-fold to 28 billion shillings in the next five years.
“As they say when you’re in a hole, you stop digging. First is to ensure that dignity, and the integrity, and the employees we have and the services that are being provided to the city are services that add value and make a difference. Services that bring a change to the face of the city,” he said.
“Yes we’re going to look for money to service these debts but what I’ve done first is one, to stop the haemorrhage and then two is to optimise the revenue collection.”
Bi-lateral trade relations can aid economic development in Nairobi, and Kenya as a whole, and there are many relations that Kidero is pursuing in order to help model the city.
“I’ve had meetings with the Chinese ambassador, the American ambassador, the British ambassador, the Korean ambassador and these are all opportunities that we are looking at and, as you can see, we already have a relationship with some cities both in Europe and America.”