Feature: Chinese construction expo provides more options for Kenyans' homeownership dream
NAIROBI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Edgar Mbote, a 43-year-old pharmacist, joined the multitude of visitors who attended the Kenya-China Buildings Materials Exhibition Saturday that showcased the latest products in the construction industry.
The two-day expo which took place in Athi River town about 26 km southeast of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, brought together 50 companies offering the latest products in the construction sector and drew about 1,000 visitors.
Mbote, who currently rents an apartment with his wife and two children, has been postponing his lifelong dream to build his own house as he has yet to find the right kitchen and bathroom accessories that meet his sophisticated taste.
He was impressed by the sleek products at the Jomoo Construction Materials stand which oozed opulence at first glance. "I have decided to purchase the Jomoo shower and basin mixer taps for the house I am building because they dispense water with ease," Mbote said.
Daniel Aduka, who is the Kenya national manager for Jomoo Construction Materials company, said that their products are very popular among local clients because they have the technology to reduce water and electricity consumption for typical households. "Our products combine both comfort and functionality and are built to last for a long time," Aduka said.
During the opening ceremony of the expo, Wavinya Ndeti, the governor of the southeastern Kenyan county of Machakos where the event took place said that the exhibition was an ideal platform for Kenyans to connect with Chinese manufacturers of advanced construction, building, and home appliances.
Ndeti added that Kenya has benefited from its cordial relationship with China through a number of measures including access to investment and technology transfer from the Asian nation.
Zhao Long, the governor of Fujian province who is currently on a visit to Kenya, said that the expo will help to further strengthen the Sino-Kenyan cooperation in the construction and real estate sectors, noting that Kenya is an important country within the Belt and Road Initiative whose aim is to boost international trade and economic integration for the benefit of the international community.
He revealed that enterprises in Fujian province have developed and achieved a lot of expertise in the building and construction sector and are eager to support Kenyan firms in upgrading their technology.
Magdalene Chelimo, a 32-year-old nurse, said that she was thrilled by the presentations offered at the exhibition stand belonging to SKSHU Paint Co., Ltd. which was founded in China and produces eco-friendly green building materials.
Chelimo added that she has decided to purchase interior and external wall coatings from SKSHU which she intends to use at her house that she will begin constructing in October.
Jonas Zhou, the chief executive officer (CEO) of SKSHU Kenya, said that products from his company have registered high demand in the East African nation because they combine decorative properties, high weather resistance as well as environmental friendliness.
Laurence Li, the regional managing director for East and West Africa at Guangdong Pustar Adhesives and Sealants company, also experienced a lot of traffic at his stall as visitors listened keenly to his sales pitch. "We have developed innovative products that are suitable for perimeter sealing around window and door frames," Li said.
Kennedy Mutale, a university lecturer in Kenya who was among the visitors who witnessed the presentation by Li, said that he was prepared to use the sealants from the Chinese company when applying ceramic tiles on the wall for his new house.
Another popular stall at the expo was Wesdom Valves and Fittings Kenya whose sales official Elvis Kanye demonstrated to visitors the benefits of their products.
Kanye revealed that his company which manufactures water meters and valves in China is keen to reduce the cost for homeowners when accessing clean piped water.
"Our products are of high quality and yet are about 30 percent lower compared to other similar products in the market," Kanye said.