, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – The European Investment Bank has confirmed extending its support to companies in East Africa through a EUR 250 million (Sh27 billion) credit facility to be channelled through local banks.
This loan facility is a follow up to a Sh10 billion credit line the Bank issued through partner banks and financial institutions across East Africa in 2016.
The Bank will also launch the first sector specific credit lines to be supported in the region, with special focus on new agricultural and climate related investment in Kenya.
Kenya Commercial Bank is the biggest conduit of the funds handling Sh3.1 billion to be disbursed to entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
In Rwanda, Bank of Kigali has signed a Sh3 billion lending programme to support 46 local firms while HFC has agreed to channel Sh2 billion to support medium sized companies in Kenya.
Catherine Collin, Regional Representative of the European Investment Bank in East Africa, highlighted the crucial role of entrepreneurs in creating jobs, improve lives and ensure sustainable long-term economic growth.
The Bank confirmed that 49 percent of EIB backed lending in Africa last year supported private sector investment by small and medium sized businesses.
Three additional credit lines, totaling Sh21bn, for SME lending across East Africa, in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mauritius have already been approved by the Board of the European Investment Bank and are expected to be signed in the coming months.