Fund to back China’s E. Africa in­vest­ment

Es­tab­lish­ment of CADFund rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Nairobi seen as cat­a­lyst for growth

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By LUCY MORANGI and PANZHONGMING in Nairobi Con­tact the writ­ers at panzhongming@chi­nadaily. and lu­ciemorangi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The China-Africa De­vel­op­ment Fund said on Thurs­day that it was poised to strengthen its in­vest­ment ef­forts in the East Africa Com­mu­nity re­gion with the es­tab­lish­ment of its rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Nairobi, Kenya.

The of­fice, based in Nairobi, is the fifth in Africa af­ter oth­ers in South Africa, Ethiopia, Zam­bia and Ghana. It is spe­cially de­signed to cater to the EAC.

The new Kenya of­fice aims to sup­port and guide more Chi­nese com­pa­nies and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to in­vest and set up busi­ness in the EAC re­gion.

The CADFund is funded by the China De­vel­op­ment Bank to stim­u­late in­vest­ment in Africa by Chi­nese firms in ma­jor sec­tors in­clud­ing trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and power gen­er­a­tion. The EAC, for its part, is a sub­re­gional or­ga­ni­za­tion where six mem­ber coun­tries — namely Kenya, Uganda, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda, Bu­rundi and South Su­dan — en­joy some of the high­est economic in­te­gra­tion and de­vel­op­ment on the con­ti­nent.

“The steady economic growth in­Kenya, adding to its great economic po­ten­tial af­ter the com­ple­tion of the Mom­basa-Nairobi Stan­dard Gauge Rail­way next year, will help drive the economic de­vel­op­ment in the East Africa Com­mu­nity,” said Chi Jianxin, chair­man of the CADFund.

Sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that by Henry Rotich, the end of July this year, China and Africa had signed 245 projects with a to­tal con­tract value of $50.7 bil­lion. Of that, $46.5 bil­lion were com­mer­cial loans and in­vest­ments.

Chi said the fig­ures demon­strated that the Fo­rum on China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion had pro­vided a new im­pe­tus and be­come a new en­gine for China-Africa de­vel­op­ment.

“We are glad to see that the Kenyan gov­ern­ment is, by all means, en­cour­ag­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to be en­gaged in the projects by way of the PPP (Pub­lic-Pri­vate-Part­ner­ship) model,” the chair­man said.

He added that the CADFund be­lieved that the pri­vate sec­tor could play an im­por­tant role in mo­bi­liz­ing re­sources for in­fra­struc­ture and so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

“We are ex­cited about the CADFund’s move to es­tab­lish its pres­ence in Africa be­cause it will help the gov­ern­ment achieve its man­date as stated in the de­vel­op­ment blue­print vi­sion 2030,” said James Macharia, Kenyan Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary at the Min­istry of Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture, Hous­ing and Urban De­vel­op­ment.

“Most im­por­tantly, its first foot­print is in the hous­ing sec­tor where we have a huge gap.”

A 2013 sur­vey un­der­taken by the Kenyan gov­ern­ment re­vealed that the coun­try’s hous­ing de­mand stood at 200,000 hous­ing units an­nu­ally, as against the 20,000 sup­plied by the pri­vate sec­tor.

At the open­ing cer­e­mony, the CADFund signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the Kenya In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity, and a four-party agree­ment on co­op­er­a­tion for the de­vel­op­ment of 20,000 hous­ing units.

Macharia said that by us­ing the PPP ini­tia­tive, the gov­ern­ment hoped to at­tract Chi­nese in­vestors to op­por­tu­ni­ties such as slum up­grad­ing, so­cial ameni­ties, mixed use hous­ing de­vel­op­ments and hous­ing for the dis­ci­plined forces and other civil ser­vants.

“Choos­ing Kenya is a re­flec­tion of China’s con­fi­dence in our strong and ro­bust econ­omy, deep bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and strate­gic po­si­tion in the re­gion,” said Kenya’s Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary to the Na­tional Trea­sury, Henry Rotich.

Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals agreed on last year need tril­lions of dol­lars in in­vest­ments, he said, adding that the gov­ern­ment is happy that the CADFund is com­ple­ment­ing its own ef­forts.

Choos­ing Kenya is a re­flec­tion of China’s con­fi­dence in our strong and ro­bust econ­omy...”

Kenya’s Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary to the Na­tional Trea­sury

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