Growing Nairobi population is an indicator of more opportunities — Sonko says

Cities in developing countries like Nairobi in Kenya continue to grow rapidly. | PHOTO COURTESY

The recently released 2019 national census report putting Nairobi as the most populous county is an indicator of rising job and investment opportunities, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said.

Addressing guests during the launch of the International Conference on Population (ICPD25), Sonko said the new resident population will shape development planning for the county.

“This reality poses endless social and economic opportunities for all Kenyans and our friends from all over the world,” Sonko said.

The Kenya Population and Housing Census 2019 results indicate that Nairobi has a resident population of 4.4 million people.

“Over and above this figure, Nairobi has a day population in excess of six million people,” he added.

Nairobi still generates over 60% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and was recently ranked as the sixth wealthiest city in Africa.


Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko addressing the 2019 ICPD Nairobi Summit | PHOTO COURTESY

However, the governor admitted that there are still challenges in terms of infrastructure and social development.

“Our investment in these sectors has not grown in tandem with the population over the years and we must improve on this,” he said.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Accelerating The Promise” and the Governor has asked participants to focus on offering practical solutions that can be infused in the development planning of the city.

National Treasury and Planning CS Ukur Yatani said the national government will continue working closely with the county in financing urban development.

“Nairobi remains our major focus in terms of investment and we are going to invest heavily is the transport sector with the help of the county and our global partners,” Yatani said.

The two governments, in conjunction with the French government, will soon launch a light rail transport project.


Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said she is impressed with the ongoing upgrade of health facilities in the County and other urban counties like Mombasa and Kisumu.

“We understand that the counties have been investing a lot in health and this is important because when the population grows, we also have to ensure adequate access to health,” Kariuki said.

The weeklong conference starts on Monday at KICC and it is open for all residents.