Kenya to get Sh52bn grant from the EU

Wednesday June 18 2014

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) secretary general Alhaji Muhammad with Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru during the official opening of the 99th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers meeting at KICC, Nairobi on June 17, 2014. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) secretary general Alhaji Muhammad with Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru during the official opening of the 99th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers meeting at KICC, Nairobi on June 17, 2014. Kenya is expected to sign a Sh52 billion grant deal with the European Union on June 19, 2014. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MUTHOKI MUMO
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Kenya will receive Sh52 billion in grants from the European Union towards funding transport and agriculture.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs, will on Thursday sign an agreement outlining the spending plan for the money over the next seven years.

FIGHT CONGESTION

The European Union said in a statement on Wednesday that the funds would be spent on Nairobi’s public transport infrastructure to fight congestion, increase food production, improve drought management and governance.

Ethiopia, Tanzania and Somalia are also expected to sign similar agreements amounting to over Sh200 billion as part of the 11th European Development Fund.

The European Union is already releasing Sh3 billion in grants to address congestion within Nairobi by building link roads.

It is estimated that between Sh8 billion and Sh10 billion more will be set aside for roads.

Sh22.5 billion will go towards boosting the country’s food production while addressing the plight brought about by climate change especially in arid areas.

The European Development Fund is the European Union’s primary agent for aid to developing nations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states.

The 10th fund had a budget of about Sh2.7 trillion (€22.7 billion) and expired in December last year.

Kenya has asked the European Union to ease stringent requirements in releasing the funds in order to improve their spending by the countries receiving the money.

The deal between Kenya and the European Union will be signed during an on-going meeting in Nairobi that brings together government officials from 79 African Caribbean and Pacific countries to discuss trade with Europeans.

Over the last three days, African Caribbean and Pacific ministers have been holding deliberations and on Thursday, they will be joined by their European Union counterparts in a joint ministerial session.

During the meeting, the 79 countries will seek greater market access in Europe for bananas, cotton and sugar.

Officials will also discuss the fate of the African Caribbean and Pacific states as a legal entity after 2020 and the post-2015 development agenda as it relates to trade between the two regions.

A proposal to tackle illegal migration and human trafficking between the two blocks has also been tabled.

The document also proposes measures to improve the flow of remittances from the diaspora population.