The Star (Nairobi)

8 June 2014

Kenya: World Bank to Spend Sh350 Billion On Kenya in 5-Year Strategy

The World Bank Group could spend up to $4 billion (Sh350 billion) on Kenya over the next five years in financing a new country development strategy.

The bank, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency said the joint country partnership strategy (2014-2018) is part of sustained efforts to help propel Kenya into a modern economy in which prosperity is shared across all communities.

It is anticipated to help build vital infrastructure, create more jobs and boost sharing of prosperity among all Kenyan communities in line with the devolved governance system.

"The strategy focuses on three areas: competitiveness and sustainability; protection and potential; and building consistency and equity; underpinned by the connecting platform of good governance - to improve accountability and ensure that resources at national and county levels are spent properly and get to those for whom they are intended," they said in a joint statement late Thursday.

The World Bank Group said that many Kenyans have not benefited from the country's economic growth despite it expanding by an average 4.6 per cent over the last 10 years.

"Inequality remains high in terms of opportunities and outcomes between men and women, Kenya's growing youth population, and people living in remote, undeveloped regions of the country," the statement read.

Part of the funds will benefit an additional 450,000 people through cash support in the national social safety net programme, particularly targeting drought-affected areas.

IFC will offer investment and advisory services to help expand access to finance, promote competitiveness and improve the investment climate. It will also support agribusiness and infrastructure.

The three World Bank arms said they will leverage resources to innovatively finance infrastructure in energy, water and transport sectors. "MIGA will continue to scale up its support in the energy sector, and will help mobilise sustainable private investments that support job creation," said Michel Wormser, MIGA's vice president and chief operating officer.

The bank said the country partnership strategy was prepared in close consultation with the Kenyan government, with input from national and county governments, private sector and civil society.

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