UK to invest £132m in Kenya for new finance centre and climate drive

Funding will help build 10,000 green homes in Kenya

The UK will invest £132 million ($183.1m) into Kenya, with much of the funding going towards climate-friendly projects.

As part of the package, a new £58m fund – supported by £35m from the UK government – has been created to build 10,000 green, low-cost homes in Kenya.

Another £28m will be funnelled into Kenyan manufacturing and an £18m grant will go towards building a digital customs system to support international trade.

The announcement came during Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to London, where he had met UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Mr Kenyatta is in the city to attend a major education summit.

“This £132 million package of new UK-Kenya deals from the UK government and British firms will support investment in the region, including building new green affordable homes, connecting households to clean energy, and boosting manufacturing,” Mr Raab said.

“This package of investments will create new jobs and unlock new opportunities for UK and Kenyan businesses by strengthening the relationship between Nairobi and the City of London.”

Mr Raab also launched a formal partnership between Nairobi International Financial Centre, which aims to become a gateway for capital flowing in and out of Africa, and the City of London.

“This will help to channel international investment into Kenya and the wider region, making sure firms and investors are able to make the most of trade and investment opportunities,” the UK foreign office said.

UK insurance firm Prudential plc wants to be the first to join the NIFC, which is to begin formal operations next month.

“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,” Prudential chairwoman Shriti Vadera said.

“Prudential is proud to be working with both countries on this initiative. We believe that deepening the financial sector across the continent is key to building and driving economic resilience, development and growth in a region of great promise and opportunity.”

The funding package will also be directed towards expanding Kenya’s fleet of electric vehicles.

Earlier in the day, Mr Kenyatta held talks with Alok Sharma, the president of the UN climate conference Cop26.

The investment package includes £3.7m to kick-start Kenya’s green transition, including through renewable energy, clean cooling, and forest restoration projects.

The UK government-backed InfraCo Africa will also invest £3.3m in off-grid solar power to offer clean energy to 6,000 families in rural Kenya.

Mr Kenyatta is due to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

Updated: July 27th 2021, 3:41 PM
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