06.02.2013 | PR04/2013
OFID Director-General Al-Herbish and Kenyan Finance Minister HE Robinson Njeru Githae.
February 6, 2013, Vienna, Austria. A delegation from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), headed by Director-General Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, has concluded a high-level mission to Kenya. Highlights of the mission include the signing of a public sector loan agreement to help strengthen the country’s energy sector, and meetings with senior officials to discuss OFID’s current operations, as well as future avenues of cooperation in the country.
A US$15 million loan agreement for the Kenya Electricity Expansion Project (KEEP) was signed by Mr. Al-Herbish and Finance Minister HE Robinson Njeru Githae. The objective of the project is to provide the population with access to modern, clean and affordable energy services through the expansion and upgrading of energy-related infrastructure. This will result in around 300,000 new connections for households, small businesses and public institutions, thereby helping improve living standards and raise incomes in the project areas. The Finance Minister thanked Mr. Al-Herbish for OFID’s “timely support” in helping develop the off-grid areas among Kenya’s rural population and that they “remained hopeful” that they could “continue to count on OFID.”
OFID’s delegation conducted a visit to one of the project sites of KEEP, as well as that of the Dundori Ol-Kalou Njabini Road Project, which OFID co-financed with two loans totaling US$20 million. The 100 km-long stretch was upgraded, which will facilitate movement of goods from Kenya's agriculture production regions to market/urban centers, and improve access to social services for the area’s 500,000 inhabitants.
During meetings with senior officials from the Ministries of Finance and Energy and the Kenya Power Lighting Corporation, Mr. Al-Herbish spoke of OFID’s support of the country’s energy sector, particularly public and private sector loans that co-funded projects utilizing both conventional and renewable energy sources. The Director-General said that OFID would continue helping strengthen the sector under the institution’s Energy for the Poor Initiative, and that he looked forward to pursuing new financing opportunities.
OFID’s partnership with Kenya began in 1976. Since then, public sector loans have been approved to help bolster the country’s transportation, agriculture, energy, health, education sectors, among others, as well as private sector assistance to Essar Telecom Kenya Limited and Gulf Power Limited. Regional grants have also been extended in support of agricultural research programs, HIV/AIDs initiatives and provision of food aid, as well as national grants in the areas of health, education and water supply and sanitation.