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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
AfDB praises Kenya for improving youth productivity

NAIROBI (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, South Korea.

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. 

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