, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Kenya is set to sell infrastructure, agriculture and innovation projects for funding to development financial institutions during the forthcoming 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI).
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chief Executive Carole Kariuki says the three areas will transform the country’s economy.
“We will negotiate with development partners that include the World Bank Group, African Development Bank, Japan External Trade Organisation, and the Africa Union Commission during the high level policy dialogue, “she told Capital FM Business.
She says that TICAD VI is a good opportunity to showcase Kenya’s potential and discuss business opportunities and gaps with the Japan Government and other partners.
Kenya has ambitious infrastructure projects estimated at US $50 billion in transport and energy.
Among the projects include the Standard Gauge Railway, upgrading of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), Konza Techno City among others.
In the agriculture front the country is also working on the Galana Kulalu Food Security Project initiated by the Jubilee Administration as part of an effort to put 1 million acres under irrigation countrywide.
Kenya has made significant progress in infrastructure development in recent years which can majorly be attributed to budgetary allocation to infrastructure that has progressively increased from less than 1 percent of GDP a decade ago to over 7 percent as of 2013.
This increased to 22.6 percent in the Sh1.779 trillion 2014/15budget.
However, infrastructure indicators remain below the levels found in middle income economies like Egypt and Nigeria.
According to World Bank, Kenya’s agriculture value-add grew 14 percent per year since 2010 and currently stands at 30 percent of GDP.
The country is sub-Saharan Africa’s leading tea exporter and one of the world’s largest black tea producers.
The World Bank also indicates that 75 percent of Kenya’s labour force is employed in agriculture, while 75 percent of agricultural production is from smallholders.
Food manufacturing value addition as a percentage of agriculture GDP stands at 13 percent while in South Africa and Egypt stand at 120 percent and 19 percent respectively.
At the last TICAD-V in Yokohama in 2013, the Government of Japan pledged 32 billion USD in five years from then, with an emphasis on infrastructure and human resource development, based on African ownership and international partnership.
“Kenya continues to attract international conferences exposing the country as a global business hub. KEPSA will participate actively in the negotiations as it represents the private sector which is the engine of growth of any country and a key contributor to promoting economic growth and reducing poverty,” Kariuki said citing that the private sector is ready for business with the more than 10,000 delegates expected to be in the country between 25th and 27th August, 2016.
Over 100 companies from Japan will be in the country to exhibit as part of the 4,000 delegates from Japan.
Moreover 60 business Memorandums of Understanding are also expected to be signed during the conference.
“The companies coming are to form partnerships and seek investment opportunities; we are expecting a lot of private sector deals to be struck during the event,” she said.