President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, yesterday (Friday) laid the foundation stone for a new tyre factory to be built in the Industrial area of Nairobi by the Firestone company of the United States.
President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, yesterday (Friday) laid the foundation stone for a new tyre factory to be built in the Industrial area of Nairobi by the Firestone company of the United States. Among those present at the ceremony were Mr. Raymond Firestone, Chairman of the Board of the parent company; Government Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, and high-ranking officials and industrialists.
The new factory--which will cost nearly 6,00,000 pounds sterling (14,400,000 dollars)--is expected to be in production within the next twelve months, producing 160,000 tyres per annum. It is the fourth factory built by Firestone in Africa (and sixtieth overseas) and will cover a 92-acre site.
It is estimated that Kenya has approximately 100,000 cars on the road today--and this number is ever-increasing. Although the new, locally-produced tyres will, for the time being, be no cheaper than the imported ones, they are expected to last longer and give better service because they will be tailored to the climate and road conditions of East Africa.
President Kenyatta spoke of his Government's "determination to industrialise the country" and that Firestone's move to start work in Kenya was a "sign of the confidence that foreign investors have in us." Then, continuing on the same theme, he added: "My Government has made it clear that we welcome foreign investors....because we expect them to make a positive contribution to the general economic well-being of this country...to identify themselves with our aspirations."