Kenyan businesses can now go hi-tech in their operations following the launch of an innovation centre in Nairobi.

The Iran House of Innovation and Technology (IHIT), which is already operational, provides a platform for exchange of ideas through joint work spaces and internet connection for Kenyan and Iranian companies operating in Nairobi.

Through the hub, Kenyan firms and their Iranian counterparts will exchange ideas on cutting-edge innovations.  

“This centre is the first of its kind in Africa and the biggest in the world that Iran has established to transfer the technology acquired over the years,” said Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Jafar Barmaki.

A delegation of 40 Iranian firms in the fields of petrochemical, renewable energy, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology was in Kenya to unveil the IHIT centre.

 “In our foreign policy, we consider Kenya a friendly county equipped with good infrastructure and through which we can reach the other countries of the region,” said Dr Barmaki.

Trade between Kenya and Iran has been heavily skewed in favour of the Middle East country.

Official data shows Kenya imported goods valued at over Sh10.4 billion in 2019 from Iran, being about five times the Sh2.12 billion worth of exports made in the same period.

Iran remains one of the Kenya’s key markets and it pays a premium price for local tea, which seen the country conduct several trade missions in defence of the market.