The European Union officially launched its External Investment Plan (EIP) with the private sector in Kenya today, at an outreach workshop held with entrepreneurs in Nairobi. The EU brought together key institutions and individuals that can take advantage of the many opportunities presented by the EIP.
The External Investment Plan will play a vital role in contributing to the creation of sustainable investments and job creation, foster innovation and sustainable economic growth in the framework of an integrated and participative approach as well as strengthen economic and commercial ties between Europe and Africa.
The EU’s Chargé d’Affaires in Kenya, Mr Walter Tretton said, “The main objectives of the European Union’s External Investment Plan are to uplift private and public investment through a variety of financial instruments, including grants provided by the European Union backed up with loans from International and European Financial Institutions as well as – importantly – an innovative guarantee facility. I welcome this initiative that will boost both private and public investment in Kenya, enhancing a favorable investment climate and creating jobs especially for young people.”
Some grant/loan blending operations that have already started as part of the EIP in Kenya include projects in the transportation, energy, water, and sanitation as well as agriculture sectors, and a good many more are in an advanced stage of preparation. Most of these projects have been targeting public sector investments, such as Last Mile Electricity and key national and rural roads. More recently, the EU has been putting a much stronger emphasis on the private sector in order to lift its potential as a key contributor to national and global development goals.
The focus of today’s outreach was therefore on private sector support through innovative guarantee products, which the European Union finances in cooperation with International and European financial institutions which in turn work with local and national stakeholders. A large number of international and European financial institutions participated in today’s event which was attended by Kenyan and European business associations as well as by more than 100 companies active in Kenya.
Another focus is on stronger business and investment policy dialogue to create an enabling environment. The event, therefore, included a panel discussion on the business climate in Kenya in which representatives of the Government of Kenya, Kenyan business associations, the European Business Council in Kenya, the World Bank and the EU Delegation to Kenya exchanged views on what has been achieved and what remains to be done.