Kenya has received a $3 billion loan from the African Export-Import Bank (AfrExim) in a deal which was signed Monday by the country’s Treasury Minister Njuguna Ndung’u.
The credit facility is a financing programme anchored on Kenya’s President William Ruto’s Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda – a model he adopted after winning elections in 2022.
In a communication from State House, Nairobi, the facility will support the Government’s priorities in enhancing capacity of critical commodities, agriculture, water harvesting, construction of industrial parks and investment in the digital superhighway.
“AfriExim came in handy and supported our recently concluded fuel importation deal; this eased pressure on our foreign reserves,” said President Ruto who was present when the deal was inked.
He explained the facility will also strengthen the capacity of Kenya National Trading Corporation to meet its obligations to import affordable fertiliser, dry commodities and edible oil, aimed at easing the cost of living.
According to the deal, $807 million will be spent in the construction of 200 dams to provide water for irrigation, domestic use and livestock.
“With the deteriorating water levels due to climate change, it is important that we maximize water harvesting,” he said.
Part of the funding will go into Kenya’s industrialisation efforts, especially the development of Industrial Parks and five special economic zones spread across the country.
It will also support priorities such as SMEs and the digital superhighway as well as calming the market.
President Ruto welcomed the Bank’s initiative on Pan African payment systems. This initiative will enhance Africa’s contribution to global trade that has been stagnant at less than 3 percent for sometime.
The loan will also support the importation of various basic food commodities in a bid to address the hunger occasioned by severe drought that ravaged the East African economic giant.
Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President of AfriExim and Chairman of the board praised President Ruto for his “passion for country and clarity of thought”.
The two reached an agreement for the facility on November 17, 2022 in Nairobi.