NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The United kingdom has pledged new aid to support infrastructure development in Africa.
Following his visit to Kenya, International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma said the Cities and Infrastructure for Growth programme in Africa is to receive an extra £15 million in UK aid.
Sharma announced that he would set up a UK Centre for Cities and Infrastructure, which will turbo-charge investment in fast growing cities across the developing world.
The centre will provide British expertise to African governments and city authorities to improve the way cities are planned, built and run, including making them more environmentally friendly. It will focus on improvements to infrastructure, including water and energy networks.
“Our new UK aid support, announced ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, will contribute to creating the African cities of the future, using British expertise to provide quality, green infrastructure across the continent,” said Sharma.
“Infrastructure is the backbone of economic growth. It helps the poorest people access basic services such as clean water and electricity, creates jobs and boosts business. I’ve seen this first hand as I’ve travelled across Kenya and I am proud to see British
companies thriving here,” enthused Sharma.
“This will benefit people and businesses across Africa, but also back at home in the UK, creating a successful future for all of us,” he added.
The International Development Secretary visited Kisumu, where he witnessed British businesses such East Africa Breweries new plant and solar power provider Azuri.
Sharma’s trip came ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit slated for January 20, 2020 in London, which will create new lasting partnerships to deliver more investment, jobs and growth, benefiting both Africa and the UK. He also had an opportunity interact with female entrepreneurs and tech start-ups in Nairobi, which are attracting international interest and investment.
In Kenya, Department for International Development (DFID) is already supporting emerging urban areas helping them draw up economic plans and improve their ability to attract investment, through the Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme.
The Summit will be hosted by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and it is expected to bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.
The Summit is also aimed at strengthening the UK’s partnership with African nations and mobilise new and substantial investment to create jobs and boost mutual prosperity.