CHINESE INVESTORS SHOW INTEREST IN PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS IN KENYA

BEIJING– Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Beijing for the 2018 Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) this week has resulted in a number Chinese private investors expressing interest to participate in public-private partnership (PPP) projects costing billions of shillings.

The major deals which Chinese private investors want to put their money into include several critical infrastructural projects such as the 30-kilometre expressway running from Nairobi’s main airport across the city to its Westlands suburb, and the development of the Dongo Kundu industrial Special Economic Zone in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa.

Two major roads in northeastern Kenya will also be constructed through PPP deals. They are the Modogashe-Habaswein-Samatar project and the Elwak-Rhamu road, which together will cost 15 billion shillings (about 149 million US dollars) and would be constructed under the Kenyan government’s roads annuity programme.

The new partnerships are seen as a quick result of Kenya’s desire to shift away from pure debt financing with new emphasis being placed on Public-Private Partnerships and the need to explore innovative off-balance sheet financing for the country’s infrastructure needs.

The revelations came as President Kenyatta and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of more deals between Kenya and China at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday after the two leaders held bilateral talks focusing on strengthening the comprehensive and strategic partnership existing between Kenya and China.

The leaders discussed the construction of the Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) covering the section from Naivasha to Kisumu in western Kenya.

During the meeting, the two leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement for funding the construction of the Western Bypass to complete the road network that was designed to ease Nairobi’s perennial traffic congestion.

President Kenyatta and his Chinese counterpart also witnessed the signing of an agreement on Economic and Investment Co-operation under which Kenya will receive a grant of 4.5 billion shillings to guide the discussion and implementation of projects that involve both nations.

Kenya and China further signed a co-operation agreement within the Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative that is being spearheaded by the Chinese Government, which aims to foster shared prosperity among nations.

President Kenyatta said Kenya appreciates China’s demonstrated commitment in supporting Kenya’s development goals. It is my ambition that we shall continue to strengthen our strategic and comprehensive partnership, said President Kenyatta, who left for home later Tuesday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK