JOHOR BARU: Probase Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, a specialist in soil road technology for rural and plantation roads, sees its RM150 million road upgrading contract in Kenya as the first step of its venture into Kenyan infrastructure sector.
The company yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kenyan government for the contract to upgrade two stretches of roads measuring 50 kilometres each.
The upgrading exercise at the Bungoma and Meru counties is expected to start concurrently in November and scheduled for completion in six months.
This is Probase's sixth project in Africa after Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan and South Africa.
Probase managing director Seow Cheng Soon said the Kenyan government had entrusted the company to upgrade the two stretches of soil roads to withstand adverse weather condition such as rainy season.
"Today's MoU signing is only for the first phase of road upgrade. There are more phases to come. We are confident to establish a long-term business opportunity in Africa.
"This also marked the first step in the right direction for our company to venture into Kenya to develop its infrastructure," said Seow at the MoU signing ceremony here on Tuesday.
In the signing, Probase was represented by by Seow, while Bungoma and Meru were represented by its governors, Kenneth Makelo Lusaka and Peter Munya, respectively.
Present to witnessing the signing were Kenya High Commissioner to Malaysia Samori Okiwiya and Johor Baru Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Loh Liam Hiang.
Meanwhile, Loh said the Kenyan government is looking for foreign investors to develop its infrastructure such as roads, schools, housing estates.
"I urge Malaysian investors to tap into the potentials in Kenya, and other African nations. The Kenyan government as well as their private sector need our presence to join hands with them to develop their nation," he said.
Loh said Malaysia investors may also venture into the manufacturing sector in Kenya by making value-added products.
He said Kenya produces coffee beans, but there is no downstream industry to make coffee powders.
"This is just an example. They need our technology to help develop their nation," he added.