Kenya to benefit from Sh170 billion deals announced during UK-Africa Summit

Britain has announced £1.3 billion (Sh170.8 billion) worth of deals on jobs, housing, finance, renewables, entrepreneurship and investment in Kenya at the UK-Africa Investment Summit.

“These deals will create a new lasting partnership that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya,” the UK High Commission said in a press release on Tuesday.

The announcements made in Tuesday’s summit include an MoU on mobilising private finance into Kenyan projects. This arrangement will bring British expertise and mechanism to enhance economic development in Kenya.

Kenya is also set to benefit from a £30 million investment in affordable and energy-efficient housing, which will be delivered through the construction of 10, 000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.

In October last year, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, World Bank and UK’s Department for International Development Kenya Head Julius Court launched the Naivasha Affordable Housing Project.

According to the project proposal, the County Government of Nakuru has identified and committed a 55-acres in Naivasha “for the purpose of delivering affordable housing units to its citizens”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta promised 500,000 affordable houses by the end of his term in 2022. He said this would be achieved through reducing the cost of mortgages, raising low-cost funds in private and public for investment in large-scale house construction and cutting the cost of building through innovation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the UK-Africa Summit on Tuesday/ PSCU

The UK government said its support is part of a broader Sh9.3 billion Sustainable Urban Economic Development support programme to attract investment in 19 counties.

Court further noted that the UK is providing technical assistance to the State Department of Housing and Urban Development to coordinate the implementation of other ongoing and planned urban infrastructure.

Alcoholic beverage manufacturing company Diageo will invest £167 million to build an environmental friendly brewery in Kenya and the wider East Africa region. Already, Diageo has invested £120 million in EABL’s Kisumu Brewery in 2017.

On margins of Invest in Africa, Kenya signed an MoU with the University of Manchester Vice President Prof Graham Lord on cooperation in the health sector, with a focus on human resource development, joint research, exchange of medical staff and students to support universal healthcare coverage.

“The UK has a huge amount to offer ambitious African firms and we have a huge reputation for quality, integrity and reliability,” High Commissioner Jane Marriott said.

“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.

The meeting brought together 21 African countries and companies in the inaugural UK-Africa investment summit.

It also follows other such meetings, which include Russia-Africa Summit, US-Africa Summit, TICAD summit and France-Africa summit.

According to High Commissioner Marriott, Over 200 British businesses are operating in Kenya.

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