President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that Kenya will double its shareholding in Africa50, a unique continental platform for funding infrastructure development to Shs10 billion.
Kenya, which initially had a share capital of $50 million, approximately Sh5 billion, is one of the founder investors in the venture fund which is supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Speaking when he presided over the official opening of the 53rd shareholders meeting of Africa50 at Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi, President Kenyatta said that Kenya was pleased with the role the Fund is playing in the transformation of Africa.
He said that investments by Africa50 gave market rate returns before adding that Kenya will double its shareholding in the continental initiative.
“I am pleased to announce that Kenya will double its investment in Africa50 to $100 million,” said President Kenyatta at the meeting attended by participants from across Africa.
While praising the growing number of projects financed by Africa50 in Kenya, the President underscored the importance of private sector in bridging investment gaps on the continent and challenged Africa’s private sector to set a good example by investing in Africa so that other investors from around the world can have the confidence to channel their funds to the continent.
He observed that Africa50’s vision is supportive of Kenya’s Big Four development agenda which includes universal health care, food security, affordable housing and enhancing create more jobs.
The Head of State observed that infrastructure attracts investment and forms the backbone upon which his administration’s Big Four Agenda will be achieved.
“Infrastructure development is crucial because none of the Big Four will be achieved without proper infrastructure. It is a key enabler for development,” said President Kenyatta.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Africa50 Akinwumi Adesina said Kenya has achieved tremendous infrastructure development under President Kenyatta.
Adesina, who is also the African Development Bank President, said Africa50 provides a new framework to address Africa’s development needs, adding that the continent has an infrastructure funding gap of as much as $108 billion.
Speaking at the event also addressed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, the Chief Executive Officer of Africa50, Alain Ebobisse, said the Pan-African investment platform has a capital base of $890 million and urged more African entities including governments to invest more in the Fund.