The Star (Nairobi)

14 November 2012

Kenya: France Pegs KWS Loan to Business Contracts

THE French government has pegged a loan to Kenya to the condition that French companies be awarded contracts to supply key equipments.

In what may be seen as a different approach to dealing with the Kenyan government, France yesterday advanced a Sh903 million to Kenya but said that French companies will have to supply 70 per cent of the related equipments.

The loan, repayable in twenty years, is in two parts the first being Sh752.7 million (Euro 7 million) for provision of digital radio network and solar systems for Kenya Wildlife Services.

The project will upgrade KWS's analogue network to more a robust and digital system reducing maintenance costs and increasing efficiency of communication. The other Sh150.5 million will be used to boost the quality of coffee produced by Murang'a Farmers Co-operative Ltd.

The visiting French minister for foreign trade Nicole Bricq said the loan will be repayable at an interest rate of less than one percent and would have a grace period of five years. The agreement was signed by Finance assistant minister Oburu Odinga and Bricq.

To date, France has on a cumulative basis committed over Sh128 billion to finance various programmes and projects in water and sanitation, transport, energy, education and agriculture.

Oburu said of the Sh74 billion committed by bilateral partners in this year's budget, the French government had committed Sh12 billion, which represents 16.2 per cent.This is double the Sh6.4 billion received in the last financial year.

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