Garden City

East Africa,Africa Construction and real estate

Nairobi’s Garden City is a $540 million phased project comprising one of the largest mixed-use real estate developments in Africa. With over 400 residential units, and 33,500 square metres of retail space spread across three floors, Garden City Mall officially opened its doors in September 2015.

Investment firm Actis brought together a consortium of local and international experts to deliver the development. The firm is a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Actis was formed in 2004 following a restructuring of CDC designed to bring more equity capital into developing countries and the two organisations have a shared history.

Our investment

In 2014, CDC and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment of $32 million in Garden City. The investment will comprise $25m from CDC and $7 million from the IFC.

The project created over 500 direct jobs during the construction phase and over 600 more once the project was completed.

Expected impact

The development has provided vital jobs in Nairobi, and has benefited the local economy through the development of its supply chain and infrastructure.

Local businesses have supplied goods and services to the mall and our investment also supported entrepreneurship among local artisans, including a market which has given them access to consumers without the overhead of permanent retail space.

Garden City also contributed to improving skills for workers and local firms involved in the development as it adhered to strong construction quality standards.

Few investors have an appetite for green-field real estate projects in sub-Saharan Africa, so this investment sends out a strong signal of our commitment to Kenya’s economic potential.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC helped Actis and its partners delivered an energy-efficient mixed-use development building that incorporates sustainability measures including: generating energy from waste heat; utilising roof space for solar collectors to generate residential hot water; and installing rainwater harvesting.

It was the first mixed-use development in East Africa to gain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green certification.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, East Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Construction and real estate
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

December 2013

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.