CS Kuria meets Afreximbank president to discuss investments, industrial development

A Kenyan delegation, led by the Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade, and Industry, Moses Kuria, on Thursday held discussions with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to explore opportunities for investment, trade, and industrial development in Kenya and the East African region.

The meeting was a follow-up to discussions held between Kenyan President, William Samoei Ruto, and Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, in November 2022, on the bank’s ongoing USD$3 billion country programme and its contribution to the country’s national industrialization agenda.

During the meeting, Kuria highlighted Kenya’s ambition to increase its manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP from 7% to 20% in the next 10 years.

He also noted plans to raise FDI from $500 million annually to $10 billion, and increase the share of exports to GDP to 30% from the current levels of 10%.

The parties also discussed measures to alleviate the immediate challenges of food and fertilizer sourcing, and the financing and practical implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Kuria emphasized the importance of regional and intra-African trade, noting that “we need to open up trade within the region and build capacity to take advantage of the AfCFTA.” He requested Afreximbank to re-double its efforts in implementing its many initiatives, including the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), which will resolve some of the foreign currency issues bedeviling intra-Africa trade.

The parties also discussed Afreximbank’s capacity to support Kenya’s food security aspirations, with extensive conversations on the Bank’s import finance facilities to support the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC), to enable the company to guarantee sufficient importation of key commodities, including grains, edible oils, and fertilizers.

The parties discussed at length what Afreximbank could do to assist the KNTC in developing relevant infrastructure, including warehousing facilities in the counties, to support aggregation, value-addition, and packaging of goods for both local and export markets.

Denys Denya, Executive Vice President for Finance, Administration, and Banking Services, affirmed Afreximbank’s commitment to Kenya, stating that “as a key member state of the Bank and a central pillar of East African trade, I am pleased to re-emphasise Afreximbank’s commitment to Kenya in implementing its national economic regeneration agenda.”

The meeting was productive, and the parties agreed to work together to enhance the uptake of the AfCFTA-led textile market access facility, the automotive sector $1 billion facility, and the AfCFTA $10 billion Adjustment Fund when it is launched.



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