Kenya’s China Square Mall Sparks Controversy over Local Trade and Jobs


The newly launched China Square Mall attracted a large number of Kenyans from different regions, with long queues characterizing the shopping experience.

The mall was touted as a one-stop-shop for a variety of products.

However, concerns were raised about the potential impact on businesses in Kamukunji and Eastleigh shopping centers, where many Kenyans work.

China Square entered the Unicity Mall, which is owned by Kenyatta University, after a long wait for a substantive tenant.

Despite being launched in 2016, the mall struggled to establish itself as a shopping hub due to the high number of malls along Thika Road.

On February 24th, Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria announced his intention to lock out Chinese traders from the mall.

Kuria demanded that Kenyatta University buys out all spaces from mall traders and reserves them for local traders, citing the need to protect opportunities for Kenyans.

He stated that the government is open to partnering with foreign powers to spur trade in Kenya, but only as manufacturers, not traders.

The move has sparked mixed reactions among Kenyans, with some supporting it as a means of protecting local businesses and creating more job opportunities for Kenyans.

Others criticize it, arguing that it goes against the principles of free trade and could deter foreign investors from investing in Kenya.

The products available in the mall include stationery, furniture, home decoration items, cleaning supplies, hardware store, and electrical appliances.

The mall’s entry into the market has been seen as a game-changer, providing customers with a wide range of products under one roof.

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Oliver Tonny
Oliver Tonny
An award-winning author with several published works in both non-fiction and fiction. Their writing style is known for its vivid imagery and compelling storytelling that captures the hearts of readers.


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