Thursday, November 30, 2023

Churches with the highest social impact Investments in Kenya

By Jane Muia

Churches With the Highest Number of Investments in Kenya

Undoubtedly, churches are among the influential institutions in Kenya. The rise in the number of churches in the country reflects the impact of Christianity in our society today. Churches receive millions of shillings from congregants in the form of offerings, tithers and other contributions.

Beyond spiritual nourishment and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, church organisations have been involved in social impact investment. This has led to investment in social projects to empower communities and provide essential services to communities in need of such services. Particularly, churches have invested heavily in social sectors such as education, health, vocational training, financial services and sports.

Social enterprises are also seen as a way of reducing overreliance on offerings and contributions from church members.

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To ensure transparency and accountability, churches have put in place strict measures to track and trace money inflows and outflows. Further, church projects and investments are managed by teams of professionals with the requisite competencies.

That notwithstanding, there have been cases where church workers have been blamed for a lack of transparency and financial impropriety in the administration of church funds and project finances.

So which churches have made the biggest social impact investments in Kenya?

1. Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church in Kenya is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Pope in Vatican City.

The Catholic Church owns property in the country, including schools, hospitals, tracts of land, and multimillion houses. As of 2019, the Catholic Church reported it owns 7,740 schools in Kenya, meaning the Church owns 31 per cent of Kenyan schools. It has also heavily invested in land, transport, and hospitals countrywide.

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Some other properties owned by the Church in Nairobi include the Ksh 500 million 10-storey Cardinal Otunga Plaza at the heart of Nairobi’s CBD, Waumini House in Westlands, and the Pacis Centre along Waiyaki way. The Church also has over 20 radio stations and 2 TV stations.

According to Yahoo Finance, the Church controls an estimated 177 million acres of land worldwide, far more than McDonald’s and billionaire Bill Gates, who own around 50,000 acres and 270,000 acres, respectively.

2. Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA)

PCEA is also among the biggest property owners in the country.

PCEA owns Presbyterian University among other learning institutions. In Ngong, the church owns and operates Milele Mall, which covers 100,000 square feet. It also owns Milele Beach Hotel in Mombasa, which is famous for hosting lavish weddings, among other posh events.

3. Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM)

CITAM is one of the churches that have recently recorded fast growth in investments. The Church owns at least ten primary schools spread across Athi River, Rongai, Thika Road, Kisumu, Nakuru, Ngong’, Kiserian, and Woodley. It also owns the Pan Africa Christian (PAC) University and has heavily invested in rental properties. In 2021, it raked in Ksh6.2 million in rental income.

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Among the hotels operated by the church include CITAM Kadolta Resort in Kitengela, which includes accommodation, conference facilities, a restaurant, a swimming pool, camping, and team building facilities.

In communication, the Church is associated with Hope Media, which operates broadcast media Hope FM and Hope TV.

3. The African Inland Church (AIC)

It is one of the oldest churches in Kenya, with investments spanning real estate, education, and health, among others. Some of the assets registered under it include Biblia Husema Broadcasting (BHB), Kesho Publications, Kijabe Conference Center, and Kijabe High School.

Other properties owned by AIC include Kijabe Medical Center, Kijabe Printing Press, Life Recordings, and Moffat Bible College.

What has been the impact of church social investments in your area?

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