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The UK, Kenya to sign $182m trade deal

Tuesday July 27 2021
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO | PSCU

By ALLAN OLINGO

The United Kingdom is expected to announce a $182.6 million new government and private investment into Big Four Projects, including affordable housing and manufacturing. 

This comes as President Uhuru Kenyatta begins his three-day visit to London, which will culminate in him co-chairing the Global Education Summit with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday.

Mr Kenyatta is expected to ink several economic and security deals on the back of the trade agreement Kenya signed in December with Britain to ensure an uninterrupted flow of goods between the two nations upon the UK’s exit from the European Union trading arrangements.

“Alongside meeting Prime Minister Johnson for talks at his residency, President Kenyatta will jointly announce major investments into the Big Four projects on affordable housing, manufacturing, and health partnerships,” said a joint press release that announced the UK visit.

Speaking at Mansion House in London, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he would announce a $47.5 million of UK Aid which is to be matched by $31.97 million of private investment to finance 10,000 affordable green homes for Kenyans. 

“This $182.6 million package of new UK-Kenya deals from the UK government and British firms will support investment in the region, including building new green affordable homes, connecting households to clean energy, and boosting manufacturing, Mr Raab said. 

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He added, “This package of investments will create new jobs and unlock new opportunities for the UK and Kenyan businesses by strengthening the relationship between Nairobi and the City of London.” 

These quality homes will be energy and water-efficient properties for low and middle-income families and contribute to Kenya’s goal of building 500,000 new affordable homes by 2022. The investment will go directly into projects and is a combination of UK government aid and privately raised funds. 

On the first day of Mr Kenyatta’s visit to the UK, focused mainly on trade, business, and climate change, the President will also meet the Conference of the Parties president Alok Sharma at the Kew Gardens to celebrate progress on the Kenya-UK Year of Climate Action. 

The UK also announced a $5.02 million of new UK funding to accelerate Kenya’s climate transition, including projects supporting renewable energy, clean cooling, and forest restoration - including Kaptagat Forest. 

The UK Foreign Secretary is expected to announce the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) launch, in partnership with the City of London. This partnership will deepen links between Kenya and London, the world’s leading financial centre – cementing Nairobi’s status as a financial hub.

Ukur Yatani, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary National Treasury & Planning said that through collaboration with partners like The CityUK, the NIFC will attract increased investment and financing into the country, which will not only contribute to the wider efforts to drive economic growth following the pandemic, but it will also support the achievement of our wider economic goals under Kenya’s Vision 2030 roadmap." 

The UK will also provide $612 002 in new UK funding for policy advice and technical assistance to support the development of green manufacturing in Kenya, including the manufacturing of electric vehicles. This builds on the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme, which has already supported $38.4 million of new manufacturing investment into Kenya.

The third deal will be completing the $301.42 million Kipeto Wind Farm, backed by the UK’s Actis, in partnership with the US Government. 

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, said that the newly announced UK -Kenya partnerships have the interests of Kenyans at their core. 

“Our significant support on affordable housing and green opportunities will deliver sustainable jobs to last, building on the success of our long-lasting friendship,” she said. 

Earlier this year, the UK and Kenya ratified a new Economic Partnership Agreement to provide continuity for$1.82 billion of annual trade between Kenya and the UK, including duty and quota-free access to the British market for Kenyan exports. 

Mr Raab also announced today the UK Government would help Kenyan firms take advantage of this trade deal by funding a $24.66 million digital customs system to help smooth trade.​

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