Kenyatta Secures U.S.$1,6 Billion Investment Deals at UK-Africa Summit

President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, 2020.
20 January 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta has secured major investment deals worth over Sh170.8 billion in the ongoing UK-Africa Investment Summit in London.

On Monday, the country also set history after its first ever green bond, called the "Simba Bond", was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The bond is the brainchild of Acorn Holdings Ltd, a residential real estate developer.

The deals include job and investment opportunities in various sectors, among them housing, finance, renewables and entrepreneurship.

"The United Kingdom (UK) has a huge amount to offer ambitious African firms and we have a strong reputation for quality, integrity and reliability," British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said in a statement.

"Today's summit showcased to the world the best of Kenyan government, business and entrepreneurship and the partnerships today will help Kenya continue to flourish.

"We believe that a strong, diverse, accountable private sector is key to unlocking Kenya's economic potential and creating the jobs and opportunities Kenyans tell us they want."

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Some of the announcements made include a Sh3.9 billion investment in affordable energy-efficient housing that will see the building of 10,000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.

The deal will also see a Sh21.9 billion investment by British firm Diageo in building environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and in the wider East Africa region.

"Diageo already invested Sh15.76 billion into East Africa Breweries Limited in Kisumu in 2017," a statement from the UK Embassy in Nairobi reads.

"This investment is supporting over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs (over half for women); including recruiting 15,000 new farmers taking the total number of farmers employed in their Kenyan supply chain to 45,000."

The inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit is aimed at rejuvenating the partnership between the UK and Africa using trade and investment to boost growth and improve the lives of the citizens of the two continents.

HISTORIC SUMMIT

The historic summit brings together at least 20 African heads of state, ambassadors, high commissioners and captains of industry.

"In 2020, the UK is the ultimate one-stop shop for the ambitious, growing international economy ... Africa is the future and the UK has a huge and active role to play in that future," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his opening remarks at the conference.

In 2018, Kenya exported 237.5 million pounds (Sh31 billion) worth of goods to the UK, with imports valued at 303.6 million pounds.

The largest taxpaying company in Kenya, Safaricom PLC, also enjoys a large UK investment from Vodacom.

According to State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, more than 200 British companies operate in Kenya, with over three billion pounds invested in daily operations.

During the visit, President Kenyatta is expected to meet at Buckingham Palace with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate, who will represent the Queen.

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