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Inside United Kingdom-Kenya Sh171 billion deals

By Fredrick Obura | January 21st 2020 at 09:26:58 GMT +0300

Leaders following UK-Africa Summit events (PHOTO: PSCU)

Kenya and the United Kingdom partnership has been renewed with deals worth over Sh171 billion.

On Monday, the two countries said the deals signed on the sidelines of UK-Africa Investment Summit target housing, finance, renewables and entrepreneurship projects to create jobs, and growth to Kenya.

“We believe that a strong, diverse, accountable private sector is key to unlocking Kenya’s economic potential and creating the jobs and opportunities Kenyans tell us they want and that UK businesses can generate,” British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said.

“The UK has a huge amount to offer ambitious African firms and we have a strong reputation for quality, integrity, and reliability. Today’s Summit showcased to the world, the best of Kenyan Government, business and entrepreneurship and the partnerships today will help Kenya to continue to flourish,” she added.

Some of the announcements made at the investment summit include a new Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on mobilising private finance into Kenyan projects. The partnership will bring British expertise and mechanisms to increase economic development in Kenya.

On renewables, Kenya is set to benefit from a Sh3.9 billion investment in affordable energy-efficient housing, which will see the construction of 10,000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.

An investment of Sh21.9 billion by Diageo to build state of the art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa. Diageo has already invested £120m into EABL’s Kisumu Brewery in 2017.

The investment is supporting over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs (over half for women); including recruiting 15,000 new farmers taking the total number of farmers employed in their Kenyan supply chain to 45,000.

The UK also announced that it would support to design a new facility to plan, deliver and support finance to a range of infrastructure projects across Africa including Kenya that are attractive to businesses and investors.

Sustainability will be central to these new infrastructure projects, focusing on investments with low carbon emissions and projects that will be resilient to a changing climate.

On Monday Kenya’s first-ever green bond was listed on the London Stock Exchange, becoming the first Kenyan Shilling Bond to be listed on the global markets - the inaugural “Simba Bond”.

The UK-Africa Investment Summit, hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, brings together 21 African countries with the UK and African companies. This is the first-time governments and businesses from the UK and Africa have come together for an event of this scale.

At the event, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured the private sector that his administration is keen on ensuring all obstacles that prevent businesses from thriving are removed.

The President emphasized that the government will continue formulating business-friendly policies as he encouraged more British investors to set shop in Kenya.

“We have tremendously improved the ease of doing business in Kenya. I think Kenya is now the third most attractive investment destination on the African continent,” the President said.

“This is in line with our policy of recognizing that we need to deal with all obstacles that prevent businesses from partnering with us to achieve our development objectives,” he added.

The President also spoke on the need for developing countries to come up with innovative ways that will accelerate sustainable economic growth in an environmentally friendly way.

“With the growing climate crisis, we are all going to have to work differently especially for those of us in the developing countries in order to sustain our development in line with our respective countries’ vision to create the jobs that we need in an environmentally friendly way,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta Boris Johnson
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