(Xinhua) -- African Development Bank (AfDB) President
Akinwumi Adesina on Friday praised Kenyan President Uhuru
Kenyatta for his strategy of enhancing youth employment and
empowerment through the government’s Big Four Agenda, which aims
to accelerate economic growth.
“The Big Four Agenda has an important
role of raising the productivity of the population, the young
people and creating jobs for the youth,” Adesina said during a
meeting with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and Planning
Henry Rotich in Nairobi.
He said he was pleased with Kenya’s
financial sector innovation, which saw the rise to global
prominence of Kenya’s mobile money transfer system, M-PESA and
the rapid turnaround of the Kenyan economy from the current 4.9
percent to 5.8 percent expected in 2018.
Kenya has announced its full support
for the general capital increment of the bank, which was
approved during the Bank’s Annual General Meeting in Busan,
The AfDB Governors approved
discussions to begin on the general capital increment of the
Bank to enable it undertake mega-infrastructure projects in line
with its mandate of development financing.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
announced his government’s plans to focus on the Big Four
Agenda, aiming to raise food productivity and food security,
increasing the share of manufacturing, increasing universal
health coverage, affordable healthcare and energy when he swept
to power for his second term in 2017.
Rotich said Kenya expected economic
growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2018 after surmounting the most
protracted political crisis following the 2017 Presidential
election, which ended in a court dispute.
He said the portfolio of projects
being lined for financing from the AfDB in Kenya included roads,
water sector improvement facilities, access to water and
medium-level education training through the Technical and
Vocational Training Centres (TIVET).
“I am excited about the projects we
are doing in Kenya,” Adesina said after holding talks with the
Kenyan officials to discuss how the Bank could partner with the
government on its High-Five Strategy.
The Bank’s High-Five Strategy focuses
on improving energy access through electricity and lighting of
homes and public spaces, improving lives through the creation of
jobs for the youth, agriculture, industrialization and
integrating Africa through regional infrastructure projects.
Rotich said Kenya fully supported the
general capital increase of the Bank to give it the necessary
capital to finance Africa’s development.