UK Investor to Focus on Funding Finance, Infrastructure in Kenya

UK Investor to Focus on Funding Finance, Infrastructure in Kenya

9 Aug    Finance News, Physics

British International Investment Plc will focus its funding in Kenya to companies in three industries critical to the East African nation’s economy.

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(Bloomberg) — British International Investment Plc will focus its funding in Kenya to companies in three industries critical to the East African nation’s economy.

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The bulk of funding by BII, the UK government’s development-finance agency, will go toward finance industry, particularly tier one lenders. It will also invest in companies in the food, agriculture, manufacturing and export-focused industries, Seema Dhanani, BII’s country head in Kenya said in an interview.

Kenya, which is voting Tuesday to elect a new president, needs to create jobs fast. The number of unemployed youth in East Africa’s biggest economy is estimated at 14%, according to the International Labour Organization, and it needs the private sector’s help to boost employment. 

“We support the private sector and we see them as a really critical tool for the economy here to grow,” Dhanani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Tuesday. Kenya’s private sector is expected to overcome headwinds such as a weakening currency, rising inflation and mounting public debt, she said. 

Infrastructure investments will support climate friendly projects and the transmission and distribution of renewable energy, Dhanani said. About 10% of UK government’s development-finance agency’s investment portfolio is in Kenya. BII has invested in 84 companies in the country, according to data on the agency’s website.

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