The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has agreed to invest in Kenya’s Big Four projects, a boost to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambitious plan.
Investment by the fund will go a long way in helping realization of the Big 4 which incorporates revamping manufacturing sector, providing affordable housing, universal health care and food security for Kenyans.
The SFD has undertaken to rally similar organisations in the Middle East to invest in Kenya’s economy.
The announcement was made in a meeting between Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani and the Vice President and Managing Director of SFD, Dr Khalid Bin Sulaiman Alkhudairy.
Mr Alkhudairy said the Saudi Fund was keen in investing in Kenya’s affordable housing projects besides power, roads and education where it has already invested.
Alkhudairy said he appreciates that Kenya has steadily moved up in the rank of ease doing business index and the Saudi Fund is keen on increasing its portfolio in the country.
In the latest ‘World Bank Ease of Doing Business’ index, Kenya is ranked 56th globally, having improved five places from position 61 last year.
“Kenya’s improvement in the ease of doing business ranking is a reflection of the level of attention to make the trading environment better. We are ready to engage more and when we move we do not move alone. We will bring along our partners especially the Arab financial institutions,” said Alkhudairy.
Yattani on the other hand encouraged the Saudi organisation to dedicate more funds for the whole spectrum of the Big Four Agenda including food security, manufacturing and universal health coverage.
The meeting between CS Yattani and Mr Alkhudairy was also attended by Kenya’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mr Peter Ogego.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative, a global financial conference where President Uhuru Kenyatta is one of the keynote speakers.
At least 40 countries are participating in the conference being held at the King Abul Aziz Conference Centre in Riyadh.
The Saudi Fund for Development is a Saudi Arabian government agency that was established in 1974.
Its activities vary from development, finance, trade and funding. The fund was established to finance developing countries. The initial capital of the fund upon its establishment was SR 10 billion ($2.7 billion).