AfDB loans to Kenya hit $3.95bn

Tuesday October 24 2023
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The African Development Bank building. PHOTO | AFDB


African Development Bank’s (AfDB) loans to Kenya have grown 37.2 percent in the last five years to cross the half-a-trillion shilling mark, deepening the pan-African lender’s role in the country’s development agenda.

Treasury Cabinet secretary Njuguna Ndung’u said AfDB’s loan portfolio to Kenya hit Ksh584.9 billion ($3.95 billion) by the end of last month from Ksh290.3 billion ($2.88 billion) as of September 2018.

The jump in loans disbursed has made AfDB a major financier of Kenya’s infrastructure projects as well as the private sector, closing in on the ranks of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as some of Kenya’s biggest creditors.

Read: AfDB to provide $25 billion climate financing, Adesina says

AfDB’s presence is mainly in infrastructure projects— a sector whose loan financing peaked in the last five years of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

“It is pleasing to note that the portfolio size has increased in value from $2.88 billion in 2018 to $3.95 billion by 30 September 2023 showing a 37.2 percent growth over the last five years,” said Prof Ndung’u.


The lender’s disclosures show that the billions have been pumped into 51 projects, with 37 of them being sovereign (loans and grants to the State or its agencies) and the remaining non-sovereign (loans to private entities like commercial banks).

Some of the big projects that AfDB has funded in Kenya in the last five years include the Ksh16.7 billion ($111.3 million) dialling of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road, the Last Mile Electricity Connectivity programme that AfDB says helped connect some 1.6 million low-income Kenyans to electricity.

The AfDB is also partly financing the Ksh82 billion ($546.7 million) Thwake Dam project to supply Makueni, Machakos and Kitui water and generate electricity.

In July, AfDB approved a Ksh4 billion (£26.1 million) loan to construct an underground power transmission line as part of the Kenya-Ethiopia electricity highwayy, making it the latest disbursement to Kenya.

Read: Kenya eyes $150m AfDB loan for power

AfDB also funded the 300-Megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power Project— the biggest wind farm in Africa, the Ksh16.7 billion dualing of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua Road and the Thika thermal power project among others.

The funding is set to increase in the coming years after AfDB committed to financially support Kenya’s quest for clean energy as part of stemming environmental pollution linked to use of dirty fuels.

Kenya and other African countries struck climate-related financing deals worth $23 billion (Ksh3.36 trillion) at the inaugural climate summit held in Nairobi in July.

Kenya joined AfDB in January 1964 and has grown to become one of the top 20 member states of the lender out of 82 nations.

AfDB selected Kenya to host its 2024 annual general meetings from 27 to 31 May, where some 3,000 people are expected to attend, yet again offering Kenya’s hospitality industry much-needed revenues.