Kenya has signed a Sh34 billion financing agreement with Italy’s BNP Paribas and Intesa San Paolo banks for the construction of Itare Dam in Kuresoi.
The funds will cover costs of constructing the dam and a tunnel, laying pipes and treatment of 100,000 cubic meters of water a day.
“The dam will serve over 800,000 people in Kuresoi, Molo, Njoro, Rongai and Nakuru town,” the PSCU reported.
The signing, at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday, was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed.
It followed bilateral talks among them and brings Italy’s total financial assistance to Kenya to Sh 59.3 billion.
Uhuru and Renzi agreed to strengthen cooperation between Kenya and Italy in security, the fight against terrorism in particular.
The President welcomed more Italian companies to invest in Kenya, saying devolution has created opportunities in agriculture, infrastructure, energy, mining and manufacturing.
“We are keen on ensuring inclusive growth across Kenya,” he said, noting that focus will also be on small and medium companies which “are the real engine that drive the economy”.
He said the focus should not only be on multinational firms but also on small and medium companies.
Renzi said Italy has a thriving SME sector and is willing to share its experience with Kenya for the benefit of the citizens of the two countries.
The two leaders also discussed ways of showcasing Kenya as a preferred tourist destination, noting that Italy has vast tourism interests in the Coastal region, especially Malindi.
Kenya and Italy enjoy cordial relations and cooperation which date back to 1966.
Italy’s assistance to Kenya is in the form of grants, concessional loans and technical assistance.
Renzi was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Mario Giro, International Economic Affairs adviser Marco Simoni, ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi and ENEL Green Power Chief executive Francesco Venturi.