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President Uhuru Kenyatta woos World Bank for more funding

By Standard Reporter | Feb 19th 2015 | 2 min read
By Standard Reporter | February 19th 2015

Kenya: Kenya is seeking more funding from the World Bank to finance infrastructure projects. While meeting World Bank directors at a breakfast meeting at State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the Bretton Woods institution to support delivery of Kenya's development agenda.

He said Kenya's access to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans would boost the country's capacity in implementation of flagship projects that would spur economic development.

The President said the mega projects currently underway in the country have scaled up its capacity to absorb additional capital inflows from development partners, adding that removal of hurdles hindering access to funding from the World Bank was a welcome move.

"Kenya is one of the few countries that have not defaulted in its international obligations," he said.

He said the Government incorporates the interests of all communities when implementing development projects, saying projects can only be sustained through partnering with the beneficiaries. "If communities are not involved in a project then it is likely that they will have problems with it in future," he said.

The nine World Bank executive directors are on a tour of Ethiopia, Malawi and Kenya to appreciate the three country's development progress, opportunities and challenges. The meeting was also attended by several Cabinet Secretaries and senior Government officials led by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

To date, the bank has supported over 100 credits and grants through the International Development Association window. The current World Bank portfolio consists of 24 country specific active projects and six regional projects all with a total commitment of Sh379.7 billion. The IDA support is 33.3 per cent of the total donor support to Kenya.

The development cooperation between Kenya and the World Bank is guided by preparation of the Country Partnership Framework paper covering a period of four years. The current CPF covers the year's 2014 to 2018 where World Bank will provide Sh356 billion for development projects in Kenya.

The support of the executive director is necessary during approval for three proposed projects in Kenya this year. First is the Southern Sudan – Eastern Africa Regional Transport and Trade Facilitation Programme which will cost $500 million (Sh45.5 billion). This project will enhance regional connectivity and integration.

Second, the Kenya Electricity Modernization Project which will cost $250 million (Sh22.75 billion) in IDA credit and $200 million (Sh18.2 billion) in partial risk guarantee.

The third project is $88.4 million (Sh8.044 billion) Kenya GPE Primary Education Development Project. The Global Partnership for Education through the World Bank will be financing the project to improve early grade mathematics competency and strengthening systems for improving primary education service delivery in Kenya.

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