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UK pledges to support Kenya's infrastructure agenda

UK gave an update of the planned new Nairobi Central Railway Station.

In Summary
  • UK's Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said her government is prioritizing green projects and financing.
  • UK government's foreign investment vehicle CDC  changed its name to British International Investment (BII). 
UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford at an event in Nairobi on January 18
UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford at an event in Nairobi on January 18
Image: ENOS TECHE

The United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Kenya's infrastructure and financial deepening agenda.  

Speaking at the Kenya -UK Infrastructure Partnership forum held in Nairobi on Tuesday, UK's Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said her government is prioritizing green projects and financing.

''Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting, plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long int our shared future,'' Ford said. 

At the event, the UK gave an update of the planned new Nairobi Central Railway Station whose design is conducted by Atkins Global.

Nairobi’s new central Train Station associated public realm will provide the centrepiece of Nairobi Railway City.

It is a flagship project to regenerate Nairobi’s central business District initiated by President Kenyatta, who personally requested UK support when he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2020.

Meanwhile, the UK’s development finance arm said it is planning a Sh 5.66 billion (£37 million)investment into Equity Bank.

The investment vehicle CDC used the occasion to announce a name change to British International Investment (BII). 

It has been funding projects in Kenya since 1948. The firm outlined its five-year agenda that will see Kenya receive close to $1 billion of its total budget line of Sh12.5 billion.

According to the minister, the UK will provide an additional Sh61 million (£400,000) to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation & Enterprise Development and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Green manufacturing was highlighted by president Kenyatta at COP26 as a key opportunity for Kenya to create new green jobs, and this funding (through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme) will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy

''An organised private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans. Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII/CDC, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies,'' Ford said. 

Those companies support 36,350 jobs and pay Sh2.6 billion in taxes.