African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a three-year Country Programme worth up to $3bn with the government of Kenya to support viable trade and trade-related investments in Kenya’s private and public sectors. The financing package will be implemented using several instruments, including loans, guarantee facilities, trade services, investment banking and advisory services. This will be the first country to access Afreximbank’s recently introduced Climate Change Adaptation Facility, with an $800m Kenya Climate Change Adaptation Facility (KCCAF).
In addition, Afreximbank will support Kenya’s industrialisation and export-led development agenda by financing the development and operationalisation of Special Industrial Zones to strengthen the country’s export manufacturing. The Bank will also support Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) to become a fully-fledged Export Trading Company (ETC) which will facilitate the growth of SMEs through improved access to finance and national and regional markets.
Afreximbank will also direct funds towards the development of modern infrastructure and facilities, and to upgrading existing infrastructure. The Country Programme will support Kenya’s post-COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery and its ability to cope with shortages and high commodity prices due to the impact of the ongoing Ukraine Crisis.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, His Excellency Dr William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, said: ‘This programme is a step forward in our economic recovery agenda and will assist the government following shocks occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the global economic crisis. We intend to leverage e-commerce and e-jobs as we digitise government services. We also aim to reduce pressure on our FX reserves. I also pledge my support for the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) towards adopting the platform in order to minimize currency challenges and bottlenecks in trade on the continent.’’
The President added that the government would support the development of SEZs by helping build infrastructure and providing the opportunity to grow jobs and address challenges of youth unemployment.
‘We will further support the SME ecosystem with the launch of phase two of the hustler fund this month and further encourage SMEs to tap into the AFCTA agreement to access markets. On Agriculture, the facility will be beneficial in bringing down the cost of fertilizer and other essential commodities that are very critical to further bring down the cost of living in the country,’ added the president.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, commented: “The Country Programme for Kenya is designed to help build a strong infrastructure base, catalyse agriculture and industrial growth as well as create a well-diversified, integrated, and resilient national economy that benefits all segments of society and prepares the public and private sectors to better take advantage of opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“Following a series of discussions between the Bank and the National Treasury and Economic Planning, we are pleased that we have agreed on the broad framework for the Country Programme. This simple signature ceremony sets the framework for the execution of the development programmes and priorities contained in the “Kenya PLAN: The Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda 2022 – 2027”. I am glad that we are now delivering on our promise.”