By Sally Namuye
The Africa Export and Import (AFREXIM) bank has announced a roll out of programmes targeting county governments and the private sector in Kenya.
The products developed by the bank will enable the county governments and private sector to roll out development projects.
Afrexim Managing Director in charge of Inter-Africa trade, Dr Gainmore Zenawe said the bank has introduced programmes to support agriculture, industrialization, manufacture, maritime sector, engineering and construction, sports, music, arts and climate change.
Zenawe disclosed that the bank through United Cities and Local Government Authorities (ULCGA), has embarked on helping the county governments and private sector to identify bankable projects to be funded by the bank.
“Resources are key in running county and sub-national governments. However, coming up with bankable projects remains a big challenge. What we are doing is to help county governments and the private sector to identify these projects so that they can access funds to underwrite development,” he said.
The county governments will have to identify a sponsor, be verified and upon which the banks will release funds. The bank targets to support investors to open up maritime trade which will attract direct foreign investment in Africa. The bank has also set aside funds to support local contractors in the Engineering and Construction Sector to take up capital projects.
“We have so many projects in Kenya and across Africa being done by Chinese contractors because of the financial support they receive from their country. This program targets to avail funds for our local contractors to bid for the same jobs,” Zenawe said.
While lauding the new programmes, Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, also the Lake Region Economic Bloc chairman, indicated that interruption in exchequer remittances posed the biggest challenge in the implementation of development projects in counties. And that the funds received through AFREXIM will come in handy in bridging the gap and ensuring that development in the devolved units take shape.
Afrexim Bank was established by African Governments, African private and institutional investors as well as non-African financial institutions and private investors to promote and expand intra-African and extra-African trade.