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President Uhuru back with bags of goodies from his three-day visit to UK

NATIONAL
By Graham Kajilwa | July 30th 2021
President Kenyatta at Mansion House, the Official Residence of the Lord Mayor of London, where he attended the Kenya-UK Investment Forum on July 27, 2021. [Courtesy]

Prudential Plc, one of the oldest insurance service providers intent to join the Nairobi International Financial Centre, is the latest goodie that has come with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the United Kingdom.

The letter of intent was submitted at a high level roundtable at The Mansion House in the City of London, attended by President Kenyatta, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.

UK Minister of State for Africa James Duddridge, UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, and the Lord Mayor of City of London Willian Russel were also in attendance.

“Africa is an important part of our long term growth strategy and I am delighted that the UK and Kenya are collaborating on financial services, where there are many opportunities for innovation,” said Shriti Vadera, chair, Prudential Plc.

The newly established NIFC aims to mobilise Sh217.2 billion (US$2 billion) by 2030 in incremental investments.

“Through collaboration with partners like TheCityUK, the NIFC will attract increased investment and financing into the country, which will not only contribute to the wider efforts to drive economic growth following the pandemic, but will also support the achievement of our wider economic goals under Kenya’s Vision 2030 roadmap,” said Yatani.

President Kenyatta’s three-day visit to the United Kingdom, which ended yesterday, has been a whirlwind of activities that has seen Kenya strengthen its ties with the UK through deals that are expected to improve the economic status of the country.

The visit also roped in the private sector which chipped in the investments. The president was in the UK to co-chair the Global Education Summit alongside UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He will be jetting back with Sh20 billion support towards his Big Four Agenda. Sh8.7 billion of this will go towards affordable housing where Sh5.2 billion has been mobilised through UK Aid and the rest through private sector.

“These quality homes will be energy and water efficient properties for low and middle income families and will contribute to Kenya’s goal of building 500,000 new affordable homes by 2022,” read a statement from British High Commission in Nairobi. “The investment will go directly into projects, and it is a combination of UK government aid and privately raised funds.”

The Sh20 billion deal will extend to green manufacturing with Sh67 million, part of which will go towards manufacturing of electric cars. “This builds into UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme, which has already supported Sh4.2 billion of new manufacturing investment into Kenya,” the statement adds.

Another Sh550 million from the UK towards climate change will also see the afforestation of Kaptagat Forest in Elgeyo Marakwet.

UK will also fund the country’s digital custom system by Sh2.7 billion to enhance trade.

Uhuru’s visit will also see Kenya get 817,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to boost the country’s fight against the pandemic.

It is anticipated that Kenya will get into a partnership with UK’s National Health Service to streamline the process nurses undergo to get jobs in the country.

The partnership will also extend to Kenya Defence Forces as a cooperation agreement has been signed between the two countries.

Kenya will get Sh1.165 billion annual support from the UK and also training of 1,100 Kenyan soldiers for deployment to Somalia. Another deal is one that allows Kenyan healthcare workers to secure jobs in the UK.

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