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World Bank’s IFC eyes more investment in Kenya

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The World Bank’s private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), on Thursday said that it is seeking to put more investments into Kenya into the 2018/2019 fiscal year.

Cheikh Ouma Seydi, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, told a media briefing in Nairobi that last year it injected 200 million U.S. dollars into various private sector firms in Kenya.

“In the next fiscal year we have a pipeline of investments in Kenya. Our only constraints is the ability to find viable projects in the country,” Seydi said when IFC announced its investment commitments for the 2018 fiscal year that ended in June 30.

According to the results, IFC had investment commitments of some 6.2 billion dollars in long term financing in Sub-Saharan Africa for its 2018 fiscal year, up from 3.5 billion dollars in the previous fiscal year.

Seydi said that IFC’s portfolio in Kenya now stands at approximately one billion dollars and is concentrated in the aviation, banking, agro-business, cement, health and insurance sectors.

He noted that Kenya’s portfolio is amongst the biggest in the Sub Saharan Africa region. He observed that IFC’s activities continue to have a huge development impact by affecting the lives of millions in Africa.

“IFC financial institutions clients provided more than 2.9 million loans to microenterprises and small and medium businesses. Power generation by IFC clients benefited 32 million people in Africa, while water distribution reached 2.5 million,” he added.

The World Bank’s private sector lending arm projects’ also impacted more than 1 million farmers, while 1.4 million patients were served by health care providers supported by IFC.

Sergio Pimenta, IFC Vice-President said that his organization has a new strategy that will drive its new investments into Africa.

Pimenta said that they will put more focus in Africa due to the enormous economic opportunities in the region.

He said that IFC hopes to increase Africa’s attractiveness to both local and foreign investors by developing new tools to help reduce commercial risks.

During the last fiscal year, IFC provided advisory services to support private sector development, with a portfolio of programs in the region that reached 400 million dollars during 2018.


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