UK Rolls Out Development Goodies For Kenya

  • The UK has stepped up its partnership with Kenya on infrastructure and investment, with news that a UK firm will design the new Nairobi Central Railway Station. 
  • The UK’s development finance arm is planning a KES 5.66 billion (£37 million) investment into Equity Bank.

At an event in Nairobi to relaunch British International Investment (BII), currently known as CDC Group, the UK’s Minister for Africa made a raft of announcements on the second day of her official visit.

The investment in Equity Bank will help the bank serve more Kenyans, especially small businesses, and to boost business prosperity and help drive Kenya’s economic growth.

Meanwhile, UK firm Atkins Global has been appointed to design Nairobi’s new Central Train Station and associated public realm, which will provide the centrepiece of Nairobi Railway City. 

It is a flagship project to regenerate Nairobi’s Central Business District initiated by President Kenyatta, who personally requested UK support when he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2020.

At a launch event in Nairobi as part of the Build Back Better World initiative, the Minister was joined by PS Housing, Charles Hinga, and a host of business leaders.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP, said:

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting, plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future.

Launched by G7 leaders in the UK last summer, this initiative will provide honest, responsible, and sustainable finance to meet infrastructure development needs around the world.

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“For the UK, our revitalised and rebranded development finance institution, British International Investment, will be key. The relaunch is also about new leadership, a new strategy, and a bigger role in delivering clean, green, infrastructure in developing countries.”

The UK will provide an additional KES 61 million (£400,000) to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation & Enterprise Development and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII/CDC, with KES 42 billion investments across 83 companies. Those companies support 36,350 jobs, and pay KES 2.6 billion in taxes.