EIB reinforces financial support for East Africa: key renewable energy, communications and transport projects inaugurated in Kenya

EU website. On the 22nd of June 2010, the European Investment Bank (EIB) restated its firm commitment to support infrastructure and private sector growth in East Africa. Over the last five years the European Union’s long term financing institution has contributed more than EUR 890m to the region, with over 52% in the energy sector.

Speaking at a Nairobi press conference on the second day of an official visit to Kenya Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa said, ”The European Investment Bank will do its best to ensure that energy, transport and SME investment can continue at ambitious levels, so that Kenya can continue to play an important economic role not only in the East African region, but in the world.”

Earlier in the visit Vice President Sakellaris assisted in inauguration ceremonies for the upgrading of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport, a high-voltage transmission line between Nairobi and Mombassa and expansion of the Olkaria geothermal plant. It is expected that the European Investment Bank, owned by the 27 member states of the European Union, will provide nearly EUR 240m of crucial funding for these projects.

The high-level European Investment Bank will also be meeting President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, Ministers of Finance, Energy and Transport as well as business and banking leaders. In 2009 the EIB provided USD 79 billion for projects around the world and has provided EUR 890m for projects in East Africa over the last five years, including EUR 227m in Kenya.

Over the last 5 years over EUR 8.6 billion has been provided by the European Investment Bank for projects across Africa. The European Investment Bank operates in sub-Saharan Africa under the Cotonou Agreement. The revised agreement signed this week in Ouagadougou emphasises the role of regional development and infrastructure to economic growth and Millenium Development Goals.

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