EIB Nairobi team outlines engagement in East Africa to parliamentary delegation

Last week a high level delegation from the European Parliament were briefed on the European Investment Bank’s current support for renewable energy, transport and water investment and backing for private sector investment in Kenya and the wider Eastern Africa region, and expected future engagement in the country. The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last December celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Nairobi office.

The visit to the Nairobi based East Africa representative office of the European Investment Bank allowed the members of the European Parliament’s development committee to discuss key projects backed by the EIB. These include schemes crucial for increasing sustainable energy in Kenya, improving supply of clean water around Lake Victoria and enhancing access to finance by Kenyan and neighbouring countries’ companies in cooperation with leading local banks.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for finance experts and engineers based in Nairobi to outline the economic and social benefits of long-term investment backed by the European Investment Bank, which is owned directly the European Union’s 28 member states.

The parliamentarians led by Linda McAvan, Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, were welcomed to the Nairobi office by Catherine Collin, the European Investment Bank’s regional representative in East Africa.

“Long-term investment plays a key role supporting sustainable economic and social development. As we embark on a new period of global cooperation on the new Sustainable Development Goals we need the EIB, the world’s largest public bank and a leading development finance institution, to play a key role in building that sustainable future. As members of parliament, we want to work with the EIB to improve lives and opportunities in Kenya and the wider region and we welcome the EIB’s transparent engagement with the European Parliament over many years.” said Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Development.

“The European Investment Bank supports long-term investment that improves lives and unlocks economic opportunities in more than 160 countries around the world. As a public bank we work closely with the European Parliament and 28 national parliaments across Europe to explain our commitment and engagement to support specific projects. The development committee visit comes weeks after a detailed independent assessment by the European Court of Auditors recognised the EIB’s key role supporting European development cooperation and catalysing investment across sub-Saharan Africa.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“Supporting sustainable growth in Kenya and across East Africa is in Europe’s interest, as the European Union is Kenya’s biggest export market by far. Good infrastructure and a thriving business sector that has access to finance are strategic pillars for Kenya’s growth and regional integration. Implementing agreements at COP21 by supporting clean energy is also a key common priority to develop together, further to the already successfully cooperation on the Turkana Wind Farm. These are the DNA of the European Union. As the EU’s development bank, the European Investment Bank is underpinning the European economy in similar ways and I’m glad that the EIB is expanding its portfolio in Kenya and the region to support this growing partnership.” said Ambassador Stefano-Antonio Dejak, Head of the European Union Delegation to Kenya.

The parliamentary delegation’s three day visit to Kenya included high-level meetings with government officials and members of the Kenyan Parliament, as visits to a number of projects supported by the European Union and by UNICEF.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last 5 years has provided nearly EUR 13 billion for long-term infrastructure and private sector investment across Africa.

Source: European Investment Bank