Kenya and the African Export-Import Bank (afreximbank) have signed a three-year Ksh400 billion financing programme anchored on the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u signed for Kenya while AfriExim President Benedict Oramah did for the bank.
President William Ruto witnessed the signing.
Prof Oramah said the programme 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,” the President said.
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.
“This support in importations has been critical in helping us reduce the cost of basic foods, including unga,” President Ruto said.
In the programme, Ksh110 billion 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 in water harvesting,” he said. The programme will also support the government’s industrialisation efforts, especially the development of Industrial Parks and five special economic zones in Nakuru, Busia, Kirinyaga, Thika, and Eldoret.
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% for sometime.
Prof Oramah praised President Ruto for his “passion for country and clarity of thought”.