Entrepreneurs get Sh20bn from Europe

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed it supported East African entrepreneurs with EUR 92 million (Ksh20 billion) in 2016. Speaking to media in Nairobi on Monday January 10th senior representatives of the European Investment Bank, confirmed lending to support investment by companies across East Africa region.

The European Investment Bank is Europe’s long-term lending institution, owned directly by the 28 European Union member states and the world’s largest international public bank. Ms Catherine Collin, Regional Representative of the European Investment Bank in East Africa and Robert Schofield, responsible for European Investment Bank lending for small and medium sized companies throughout East Africa and elsewhere on the continent, highlighted the crucial role of entrepreneurs to create jobs, improve lives and ensure sustainable long-term economic growth.

They confirmed that 49% of EIB backed lending in Africa last year supported private sector investment by small and medium sized businesses. They emphasised the EIB’s close cooperation with banks across the region, business associations, regulators and government departments to ensure the maximum impact and benefit to the real economy via the EIB’s credit lines.

During 2016 the European Investment Bank signed new lending programmes totalling EUR 92 million with partner banks and financial institutions across East Africa.

This included:

  • EUR 20 million agreed with HFC to support investment by medium sized companies in Kenya.
  • A total of EUR 29 million signed with KCB for lending across East Africa in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • A EUR 15 million credit line agreed with EXIM Tanzania
  • A EUR 28 million lending programme agreed with Bank of Kigali in Rwanda that will support investment by 46 local firms.

Expected new lending totalling EUR 250 million (Ksh27 billion) in partnership with banks across East Africa was also announced. The expected launch later this year of the first sector specific credit lines to be supported in the region was also confirmed. These will focus support for new agricultural and climate related investment in Kenya and is expected to be used alongside grant support from the European Union.

[crp]