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Counties eye US$3Bn Afreximbank ‘goodies’

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By Phyllis MUCHOKI

Kenya is set to benefit from a US$3 billion Country Programme from African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

The Bank will roll out this package of financing as part of its efforts to support Kenya as it navigates the current unprecedented global economic challenges.

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“We had a very good meeting with His Excellency President Ruto and agreed that we needed to reset the relationship between Afeximbank and Kenya,’ said Professor Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank. “President Ruto’s vision and sense of urgency were infectious and we couldn’t help but give him the support he deserves.”

A technical team drawn from the Kenyan government and Afeximbank is expected to begin working on the structure of the support.

A significant part of the support will involve the establishment of a Kenya Climate Change Adaptation Facility. Underpinning this, Afreximbank will put in place US$ 800 million in financing towards building 100 dams to double irrigated areas in Kenya, while paying particular attention to regions experiencing water shortages as a result of the impact of climate change.

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“We are proud to be using Kenya to launch the Afreximbank Climate Change Adaptation Facility under which we plan to disburse over US$5 billion in the 5 years to 2026 under Afreximbank 6th Strategic Plan,” Oramah said.

Under this scheme, Kenya plans to double the land area under irrigation from the current 670,000 acres to 1.4 million acres in the next three years. This is aimed at improving the country’s food production while reducing its overreliance on rain-fed agriculture.

The Country Program will also encompass support for the development and operation of industrial parks in Kenya.

This is geared particularly to help in enhancing Kenya’s manufacturing and value-addition sectors. As a result, it will provide a major boost to intra-African trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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AAdditionally, Afreximbank has also extended the ATEX pan-African pooled procurement platform for commodities to Kenya.

This is critical in supporting the East African nation’s post-COVID-19 pandemic economic stresses and the impact of the ongoing Ukraine crisis on global supply chains that have led to shortages and high prices of essential commodities.

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