, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a Sh80.5billion ($930million) loan to support Kenya’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the next five years.
The CSP supports the country’s ambitions and addresses its main developmental challenges by promoting job creation as the overriding objective.
AfDB recently revised credit policy for non-concessional borrowing, allowing Kenya access to sovereign-guaranteed loans from the bank’s private sector lending window.
The new 2014-2018 CSP was prepared at a time when the country had concluded a peaceful political transition, launched the second National Medium Term Plan (MTP II) 2013 to 2017, embarked on a comprehensive devolution process and discovered oil, gas and coal deposits.
“To achieve our main objective, we have designed the CSP around two main pillars. We will continue to support the government’s effort to enhance physical infrastructure to unleash inclusive growth and secondly, develop skills for the emerging labour market for Kenya’s transforming economy,” Regional Director for AfDB’s Eastern Africa Resource Centre, Gabriel Negatu said.
Under the first pillar, AfDB plans to help in establishing a more conducive environment for the private sector through investments in physical infrastructure.
He said investments in energy, transport and water will increase access to affordable and reliable electricity, improve transport connectivity, reduce transport cost and time, and enhance access to reliable water supply.
“At enterprise level this will boost private sector activity, increase productivity, stimulate structural transformation, and generate employment, thereby promoting gender-balanced inclusiveness. At the same time, households and vulnerable groups will benefit from improved infrastructure, which further strengthens inclusiveness,” Negatu noted.
The second pillar will focus on improving access to emerging technology-based labour markets and access to lower skills for the labour-intensive sectors.
The new bank’s interventions under this pillar will prioritise support to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in order to develop mid-level skills of technicians and artisans for current and emerging labour markets in both Kenya and the region.
“As a general principle, all new bank investments will aim to generate employment, notably for the youth and women; ‘crowd-in’ the private sector; promote regional integration; and mainstream gender,” he said.