Boost for Uhuru as Bank Expresses Interest in Ksh 160B Project

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta during a meeting with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 15, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta during a meeting with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 15, 2022.
    PSCU
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has received a major boost after the International Finance Corporation (IFC) expressed interest in the Nairobi-Mau Summit road project estimated to cost Ksh160 billion.

    In a statement released by the financial institution on their website, IFC published an Early Disclosure (ED) document on the draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the project.

    The bank stated that publishing the ED documents was part of the institutions' regulations before investing in the 233-kilometre road project.

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    An artists impression of the Nairobi Mau Summit Road
    File

    "The purpose of this Early Disclosure is to enhance the transparency of IFC’s activities with reference to those projects or investments with potential significant adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts," read the statement.

    Additionally, IFC stated that they would release reviewed ESIA documents at a later stage prior to deciding on investing in the project. 

    However, it stated that the disclosure was not a guarantee that they would back the project, citing various stages the proposal will undergo before approval. 

    "An updated version of the ESIA reviewed by IFC may be disclosed at a later stage. In addition, prior to any consideration of the investment by IFC's Board of Directors, the Summary of Investment Information (SII) and the Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS) would be disclosed at least 60 days in advance," read the statement in part.

    The publishing of the ED documents barely comes a few weeks after Uhuru met with IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop at State House, Nairobi on February 1.

    In a statement that was released after the meeting, it was revealed that Uhuru urged the World Bank to finance Kenya's projects such as the Big Four Agenda. 

    "President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other World Bank constituent financial institutions to provide more support to the private sector to spur Kenya’s economic growth.

    "The President said IFC has the potential to help in making Kenya a lucrative investment hub through supporting the private sector in implementing the Government’s Big Four Agenda," read the statement then.

    The mega project was expected to kick start in September 2021, with the aim of improving traffic flow from Nairobi to Western Kenya. However, it stalled after various companies raised issues regarding the tendering process.

    "The project will upgrade the old Nairobi-Nakuru highway that serves the major trade route between Nairobi and Western Kenya,” Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia stated in a past interview.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Managing Director Makhtar Diop at State House on February 1, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Managing Director Makhtar Diop at State House on February 1, 2022.
    File