IFC eyes housing, pharmaceutical deals with Kenya private sector – Business Daily

President Uhuru Kenyatta with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Managing Director Makhtar Diop at State House, Nairobi on February 1, 2022. PHOTO | PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other World Bank institutions to support the private sector to spur Kenya’s economic growth.
The President said IFC could help make Kenya a lucrative investment hub by supporting the private sector in implementing the government’s Big 4 Agenda – food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.
“Kenya has the potential to accelerate its economic growth, and I am confident that with your partnership, we can achieve that goal,” President Kenyatta told IFC managing director Makhtar Diop at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday.
Mr Diop is in the country for a week-long visit. He disclosed that the IFC is eyeing investment opportunities in the housing and pharmaceuticals sectors.
“I will have roundtable discussions with stakeholders in the pharmaceuticals and housing sectors to see how best we can collaborate to ensure the realisation of affordable healthcare and housing for the Kenyan people,” he said.
President Kenyatta and Mr Diop also discussed Kenya’s plan to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines in collaboration with other drug-making firms as it aims to ease supply hitches that have derailed mass inoculations.
Mr Diop said the IFC intends to achieve its goals by providing inclusive financing and boosting recovery by developing the capital markets.
“We look forward to working more closely with the private sector in Kenya, which is already vibrant and enable it to contribute more significantly to the achievement of the country’s development goals as well as promote intra-Africa trade. It is time for Africa, as a continent, to begin trading within itself,” Mr Diop said.
The World Bank institution will also provide financial support to the private sector for environmental adaptation and mitigation projects.
The IFC boss, eying more deals in Kenya, will also meet corporate leaders, including Co-operative Bank #ticker:COOP CEO Gideon Muriuki.
In recent months, the multilateral lender has invested billions of shillings in Kenyan companies such as Co-op Bank, Equity #ticker:EQTY and KCB #ticker:KCB cementing its role as one of the most prominent foreign institutional investors in the local market.
Coo-op Bank last year secured $75 million (Sh8.3 billion) loan from the IFC for lending to small businesses crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other multilateral lenders include the European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and sovereign wealth funds Proparco (French) and KfW (German).
IFC has invested in about 125 local firms so far, acquiring significant stakes in some companies, but with most of the investments in the form of long-term loans.

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By Kwetu Buzz

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