KENYA – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pitched US$1.7 billion (KSh170 billion) business opportunities to a Kenyan delegation led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London as the United Kingdom charts its post-Brexit economic ties.
A statement by the British High Commission in Nairobi said the deals cutting across housing, finance, renewables, and entrepreneurship “will create a new lasting partnership that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth to Kenya.”
According to the Business Daily, the summit came at a time British corporate giant in Kenya such as Barclays, British luxury carmaker Land Rover, Standard Chartered Bank, British American Tobacco and Unilever are struggling to fend off a stiff challenge from aggressive rivals.
As part of the deals announced Kenya is set to benefit from a US$39m (Sh3.9 billion) investment in affordable energy-efficient housing, which will see the construction of 10,000 low-carbon homes for rent and sale.
Additionally, the East African Breweries Limited (EABL), which is controlled by Britain’s Diageo, will invest US$219 million (Sh21.9 billion) “to build state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa,” said the British High Commission in Nairobi.
In 2017, Diageo had already invested US$157m (Sh15.7 billion) into EABL’s Kisumu Brewery.
The UK also announced that it would support design of a new facility “to plan, deliver and support finance to a range of infrastructure projects across Africa including Kenya that are attractive to businesses and investors.”
“Sustainability will be central to these new infrastructure projects, focusing on investments with low carbon emissions and projects that will be resilient to a changing climate,” said the High Commission.
Mr Kenyatta while attending the summit urged UK investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing in Africa and a bridge to the emerging market of more than 1.2 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“There is probably no better time for African nations and the UK to explore new and innovative ways of deepening the long-standing partnerships that have existed between our nations,” President Kenyatta said on the sidelines of the summit, when he rang the bell to kick off the trading of Kenya’s first green bond at the London Stock Exchange.