, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is due to arrive in Kenya on Friday as the country expects to be a big beneficiary of Asian giant’s newly increased funding to Africa.
The Chinese government has committed to raise the China Africa Fund from $20 billion (Sh1.7 trillion) to $30 billion (Sh2.6 trillion) as it seeks to increase its cooperation with the continent.
Speaking on Thursday during the World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, Li said China would commit half of its overseas development aid to Africa.
He said the funds will among other things, focus on enhancing industrial, finance and loans, and peace and security.
During his visit to Nairobi, Kenya and China are set to sign a number of agreements with areas of focus being trade, infrastructure as well as science and technology.
President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a State visit to China in August last year, during which the Chinese and Kenyan leaders established a comprehensive and cooperative partnership where he secured Sh425 billion credit.
“China- Africa cooperation also seeks to develop high speed railway to increase current railway line cover of seven percent in Africa,” Li told the Economic Forum in Abuja.
According to China’s customs authorities, last year’s trade volumes rose to Sh281.2 billion, with an annual growth rate of 15 percent.
Chinese direct investment in Kenya in 2013 stood at Sh46 billion with a year-on-year growth rate of 14 percent. Investment covers manufacturing, energy, construction, real estate development, tourism and trade.
On the other hand the Chinese direct investment in Africa was Sh301 billion with an annual growth rate of 20.3 percent.
Kenya imports from China include machinery, electronics, vehicles and spare parts, iron and steel, plastic and rubber products, apparels and accessories, footwear and furniture.
Kenya exports to China leather and skins, vegetable, textile, fibre, copper and plastics, ores and concentrates, fish, tea and coffee, among others.