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UK to finance Sh500B green investments in agriculture, green energy & transport

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By George Munene

The UK has agreed to fast-track financing for six green investment projects worth Sh500 billion covering agriculture, green energy, and transport.

This follows a meeting between Kenyan President William Ruto and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the COP27 climate summit yesterday [Monday 7 November] in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt.

The projects include: a Sh32 billion investment in a climate-resilient agriculture hub for the Lake Victoria region in Kisumu that will create 2,000 direct jobs and provide an income for a further 20,000 farmers; Sh425 billion in a public-private partnership to deliver the Grand High Falls Dam, which will generate a gigawatt of renewable power and provide an area over twice the size of the Maasai Mara with drought-combating irrigation solutions; new geothermal and solar energy generation at Menegai and Malindi; and the green regeneration of central Nairobi anchored around a new central rail station.

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“By fast-tracking finance into these clean, green projects with honest, reliable investment the UK is supporting Kenya to advance and maintain its continent-leading climate credentials– with mutual benefits for both our countries,” said British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott.

Dubbed United Green, the Sh31 billion investment will finance climate-smart crop and agro-industrial processing system via a joint venture between the UK government and Kisumu County and hopes to create over 22,000 jobs across counties in the Lake Victoria region.

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For its part, the Sh425 billion Grand High Falls Dam project will irrigate 400,000 hectares of farmland and generate 1,000MW of hydroelectric energy. Led by UK engineering firm GBM, the project is envisaged to include both a Power Purchase Agreement for clean energy and a Water Purchase Agreement for agricultural irrigation.

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