Kenya: Govt Eyes Africa Infrastructure Fund

KENYA will be seeking a piece of the soon to be launched Sh8.75 trillion ($100 billion) infrastructure development fund by the African Development Bank, Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said on Wednesday.

He said the government has identified a “very huge” infrastructure gap as the main hurdle to economic development as it hinders trade.

Priority in public funding, he said, will be given to roads, railways, airports, seaports, electricity and pipeline.

“We enjoy a strategic location surrounded by growing economies that provide ready market for goods coming from the port (of Mombasa) as well as our own produce,” he said. “The Jubilee government is keen on reducing infrastructure gap more than creating it because it’s limiting our growth potential.”

The continental AfDB fund, dubbed Africa50 Fund, aims at reducing Africa’s infrastructure funding gap estimated at $45 billion annually.

AfDB regional director for East Africa Gabriel Negatu said the fund will be open for borrowing early next year.

The fund, he added, would primarily support development of key infrastructure in transport, water and energy sectors.

Kenya’s infrastructure funding gap is estimated at about Sh180 billion a year.

The government has in the recent past been attracting development funds for key projects.

During his last month’s official state visit to China, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed agreements worth $5 billion (Sh425 billion) for among other projects, development of Mombasa-Kampala standard gauge railway, roads and power generation.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan said the world’s second largest economy was keen on helping Kenya develop her transport, telecommunications, water supply and electricity generation networks.

“Economic kick off cannot happen without infrastructure, ” he told a conference on Kenya’ s economy dubbed Ready to Take off in Nairobi. “Africa is the next frontier of global economy and if you want to get rich, build a road first.”

Meanwhile, AfDB said it will finalise agreements with private investors on building of the 300 megawatt Turkana wind power project by end of the year.

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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