Financial technology firms in Nairobi received a fresh lease of life after the Lord Mayor of London announced that Ksh1.1 billion would be injected into the industry.
Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin acts as his city's civic and ceremonial link with the Judiciary, church and armed forces. He hosts visiting heads of state and foreign dignitaries on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and the government.
Estlin made the announcement about the donations to Kenya on Thursday, October 17 in Nairobi, where he is on a two-day visit.
The financial support targets start-up companies involved in financial technology (FinTech) and operate in emerging markets like Kenya.
With support from the UK Department for International Development, the catalyst fund will help connect a further 30 local FinTech companies to international investors.
The UK will work with the companies to increase financial inclusion for low-income and underserved consumers.
“Today’s announcement highlights the mutual benefits of closer financial co-operation to both the UK and Kenya," Estlin spoke.
He added that through partnerships forged across Africa, the UK’s financial services sector could turbocharge national economies and empower individuals financially and create thousands of jobs that would enrich lives across the continent.
His visit to Kenya comes ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit to be held in January 2020. The UK seeks to become Africa’s biggest G7 investor as Brexit looms and it chose to visit South Africa and Kenya, the two economies doing well in Africa.
Estlin was flanked by British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott who stated, “Kenya’s Fintech sector is strong, diverse and growing quickly. The innovators we met today show the future of Kenya’s economic growth and I am proud that the UK is able to support their work, helping create growth, jobs and the achievement of the Global Goals in partnership between our two countries."
The UK is one of Kenya's largest bilateral donors.
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