The World Bank's lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced plans to invest about 300 million U.S. dollars in Kenya, praising the country's thriving economy.
Oumar Seydi, IFC director for Eastern and Southern Africa Region, said late Wednesday in Nairobi that Kenya has good indigenous enterprises that are well prepared and encouraged firms in the private sector which are in need of financial support to forward their applications.
"IFC's continued high level of activity in Sub-Saharan Africa reflects our support to private sector clients as they drive local economies forward," Seydi said.
He said the IFC has been formed to promote open and competitive markets as well as mobilize finance for private sector development. In the year ending June, IFC made investments worth 4.6 billion dollars in 31 countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
In the East African region, private firms in Kenya received the lion's share of 21 percent or 210 million dollars that was invested in banking, education, real estate and production of edible oils.
The World Bank's lending arm said its activities impacted 1.1 million farmers in Africa, provided 17 billion dollars of financing to entrepreneurs, delivered health services to a million patients and improved quality of education for 117,000 students.
Seydi said African governments enacted over 70 reforms to improve business regulation, drawing on support from the World Bank Group.
The impact of these reforms, he said, includes private sector cost savings of 25.5 million dollars in Ethiopia, thanks to more efficient imports and exports clearing procedures, an additional 106 million dollars in investment by new businesses in Rwanda generating 29, 000 jobs, and levelled taxation between men and women in Cote d'Ivoire.