President Uhuru Kenyatta witnesses the signing by his Treasury CS Ukur Yatani. Uhuru reiterated that Kenya is one of the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent. [Photo/PSCU]

The UK and Kenya have secured what leaders say are major investment deals on housing, finance, renewables, and entrepreneurship.

Worth over £1.3 billion, these deals are a conduit to “deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya”.

Signed at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Tuesday, the deals include a new Memorandum of Understanding signed to collaborate on mobilising private finance into Kenyan projects.

Quality, Integrity and Reliability

“This partnership will bring British expertise and mechanisms to increase economic development in Kenya,” said a statement from the FCO office.

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Kenya said, “The UK has a huge amount to offer ambitious African firms and we have a strong reputation for quality, integrity and reliability. Today’s Summit showcased to the world, the best of Kenyan Government, business and entrepreneurship and the partnerships today will help Kenya to continue to flourish.”

She added, “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.”

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On renewables, Kenya is set to benefit from a £30m investment in affordable energy-efficient housing, which will see the construction of 10,000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.

To increase the capacity of production, Diageo is pumping in an investment of £167 million by to build a “state of the art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa”.

Diageo already invested £120m 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,” the statement added.

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.

“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.”

Kenya’s first-ever green bond

On Monday, Kenya’s first-ever green bond was listed on the London Stock Exchange. It became the first Kenyan Shilling Bond to be listed on the global markets – the inaugural “Simba Bond”.

Speaking during the launch, President Uhuru Kenyatta said,

“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest-growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” President Kenyatta said.

With a dynamic and diverse business sector, he pointed out that Kenya’s business environment is ranked among the top three in Africa saying Kenya could be the gateway to investing in Africa and a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Over 60 Kenyan companies are featured in the London Stock Exchange’s “Companies to Inspire Africa” report in sectors ranging from agriculture to FinTech.

The $40 million (over 4 billion shillings) bond by Nairobi-based property developer Acorn Holdings that started trading on Monday at the LSE was first listed at the Nairobi Stock Exchange last week. It will help Acorn Holdings raise funds to build 50,000 environmentally friendly accommodation units for university students in Nairobi.

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.

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