Uhuru secures Sh170 billion investment deal with UK government

In Summary

• The amount translating to over Sh170 billion will be channeled on housing, finance, renewables, and entrepreneurship.

• President Uhuru Kenyatta said the 40 million dollar bond that will be achieved through the green bond will be dedicated to helping put up 5,000 environment units which will serve as accommodation for university students.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Secretary of State for International Development Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma (M) and Edward Kirathe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Holdings Ltd during the launch of the green bond at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Secretary of State for International Development Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma (M) and Edward Kirathe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Holdings Ltd during the launch of the green bond at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Image: PSCU

Kenya on Monday secured major investment deals worth more than Sh170 billion (£1.3 billion) with the British government.

The amount will be channeled to housing, finance, renewables and entrepreneurship.

British High Commissioner Jane Marriot said these deals will create a new lasting partnership that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya.

The deals were reached at during the ongoing UK-Africa Summit in London.

The High Commissioner said the British government has a huge amount to offer ambitious African firms that have a strong reputation for quality, integrity and reliability.

She said the summit had showcased to the world, the best of Kenyan government, business and entrepreneurship and the partnership will help Kenya continue to flourish.

“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," she said.

Through the deal, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed to collaborate on mobilising private finance into Kenyan projects, a partnership that brings British expertise and mechanisms to increase economic development in Kenya.

With regards to renewables, Kenya is set to benefit from a Sh3.9 billion (£30 million) investment in affordable energy efficient housing, which will see the construction of 10,000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.

The deal also gets Kenya an investment of £167 million by Diageo to build state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly breweries.

"Diageo have already invested £120 million into EABL’s Kisumu Brewery in 2017. This 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," read part of a statement to newsrooms.

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.

It said 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.

"Today, 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 statement notes.

The UK-Africa Investment Summit, hosted by the Prime Minister, brings together 21 African countries with 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.

President Uhuru Kenyatta while responding to panel questions said as a result of the growing climate crisis, developing countries need to work hard to sustain economic growth to achieve SDGs as they focus on the vision 2030.

He said the 40 million dollar bond that will be achieved through the green bond will be dedicated to helping put up 5,000 environment units which will serve as accommodation for university students.

Uhuru said Kenya is further targeting its sovereign green bond which will be used to develop additional capacity in the energy and housing sectors.

"As a country, we are aiming at creating a regulatory framework that allows the private sector to be the engine for the economic sector. We as striving to pull out as a government and allow the private sector to pump in more resources for capacity building," Uhuru said.

He said as his government continues to give out incentives in various aspects, concreate measures for sustainable investments have been put in place to ease doing business within the country.

"We are working on policies of dealing with governance structure and obstacles that impede business. These we expect to be business-friendly policies that attract more direct investment," he said.