LAUNCH OF IGS OPERATIONS IS EXPECTED TO CREATE OVER 4000 DIRECT AND INDIRECT JOBS AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR KENYAN YOUTH BY END OF 2015
U.S. Embassy Nairobi Economic Counselor David Renz joined Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Charity Ngilu, along with executives from International Green Structures (IGS) on September 30, to celebrate the launch of IGS operations in Kenya.
IGS, an American manufacturing, engineering and construction firm that provides affordable building solutions using sustainable and renewable materials, announced its entry into Kenya. IGS will invest approximately KShs 527 million in its first phase; with longer term plans to build a Sh1.3 billion manufacturing facility in country, located in Thika, Kenya.
“Kenya, and Africa, is poised to be the world’s next major economic success story. With this growth, Africa is on the path to greater security, opportunity and prosperity,” said Mr. Renz.
IGS is the first U.S. company to enter Kenya after the U.S.-Africa Summit, held in August 2014, in Washington, D.C. It has already spent about KSh130million in market research, technology approval, marketing and prototype units locally.
“We are targeting to provide building solutions just under KShs 9,000 per square meter by allowing construction companies and developers to culturally adapt the IGStructures for Kenyans in the communities where they live,” said Mike McCarthy, IGS President and CEO.
Prior to this announcement, IGS held high level discussions with both the government and the developers from which it has already received commitments of 3,400 units from the private sector alone.
“There is an overwhelming demand for housing in Kenya and limited supply in the middle and lower market segment giving IGS optimism of great success. IGS’s vision aligns with the Government of Kenya’s Vision 2030, whose long term strategy is to improve livelihoods of Kenyans through facilitation of access to affordable and adequate housing,” said Julius K. Nyoike, President of IGS Kenya Ltd.
The company, which is headquartered in Maryland in the United States, has had a presence in Kenya for over a year and recently opened a new office in Westlands, which will be become its hub for operations in Kenya and across East Africa.
IGS expects to provide a second income to rice and wheat farmers as these are the materials used in producing durable panels made from straw, a wasteful by-product of wheat and rice crops that has no potential for fuel or food. The straw from wheat and rice are up-cycled into a Compressed Agricultural Fiber (CAF) Panel. The innovative manufacturing process creates rigid, thermo-set panels that equal or exceed the durability of block and cement or brick. CAF Panels are also incredibly energy efficient with natural thermal and sound attenuating properties, plus they are also fire, water, mold and pest resistant – and harvesting straw has a low-carbon footprint. Not only is this a green product, it is a healthier, sustainable product to traditional building materials.
IGS has successfully built affordable IGStructures in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and the United States.