The UK government is set to inject £211 million (Sh30 billion) to support the second phase of infrastructure projects in measures to ease cross-border trade between Kenya and her neighbours.
Britain’s International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who visited Kenya last week, was impressed by the progress made in the first phase of the programme that has since cut customs clearance times – from an average of nine to two days
UK Department for International Development was one of key financiers of the first phase that started in 2010-2016 and saw Trade Mark East Africa help reduce customs clearance times from an average of nine to two days, and reduced the cost of trading across the region with new cargo-tracking technologies and improved infrastructure.
“Here in Kenya, technology is delivering UK aid in new ways, from innovative cash transfers using biometrics, through to trade technologies that support economic growth, jobs and investment. It is in all our interests that we harness the best of British innovation with African entrepreneurialism – to create jobs, defeat poverty, and support our future trading partners, as we work towards a shared prosperous future,’’ said Mordaunt.
Mordaunt pledged £60 million (Sh 8.7 bn) to fund sustainable urban economic development partnership in 10 rapidly growing towns in Kenya. The money will go towards urban economic planning, investment climate reforms and attracting private sector investment.
UK has also invested £8 million (sh 1.16 billion) through the World Bank to assist the Government of Kenya in the development of more Special Economic Zones, private-public partnerships and select counties on doing business reforms.
The second phase of the funding is expected to further improve efficiency and capacity of transport, logistics and trade infrastructure at key port and border points, improve trading standards, reduce non-tariff barriers and enhance transparency in trade processes.
It is also expected to improve the regulatory and policy environment for trade as well as support private sector advocacy for trade competitiveness, the export capacity of East African businesses and the greater participation of women and small and growing businesses in trade.
We are excited to launch our second strategy with funding from UK Department for International Development worth Sh29 billion which is expected to further improve trade infrastructure, support enterprise and job creation in Kenya and the region,’’ TMEA said in a tweet.Strategy two offers large scale transformative impact, building on gains made to date but recognising substantial potential gains that can still be made. It will contribute to creation of jobs, increase exports from the region and reduce poverty for East African citizens,’’ said Frank Matsaert.