The mighty peaks of Kilimanjaro and Kenya are the highest points in Africa, towering over the East Coast nations.
The mountains will soon be sharing a skyline with a man-made behemoth named simply: “The Pinnacle.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently laid the foundation stone for what will be the tallest skyscraper in Africa in the Upper Hill neighborhood of Nairobi. Construction is underway at the development site, and slated for completion by December 2019.
The ambitious project will see twin glass-facade towers rise above the city, the larger standing at 300 meters tall, far surpassing the continent’s current leader — Johannesburg’s 223-meter Carlton Centre.
The Pinnacle has heavyweight backing in the shape of Dubai-based investors Hass Petroleum and White Lotus Group, which are ploughing around $200 million into the project.
The contract to build the towers has been awarded to China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), which is among the world’s largest construction firms and has delivered a string of major projects including the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia and the Beijing National Aquatics Centre.
The complex will house a 255-room Hilton Hotel, the luxury chain’s third in Kenya and 50th in Africa. The towers will also include elite residences, business and leisure facilities, and a helipad on the roof of the taller tower.
“Whatever happens in other parts of the world can happen in Africa as well,” says Abdinassir Hassan, chairman of Hass Petroleum and managing director of the project. “Nairobi is a hub for East and Central Africa. Why would we go anywhere else?
Kenya’s economy has performed steadily in recent years, with healthy GDP growth of 5.9% in 2016 according to the World Bank.