Land acquisition, way leaf access and cost of power are major contributors associated with project development in Kenya. This has led to derailment of major projects that can attract economic growth the country.  These are among factored issues that investors and government stakeholders addressed during the International Project Financing Association (IPFA) event held in Nairobi. The event sought to enlighten private investors from neighbouring regions, on the importance of investing in mega projects specifically the LAPSSET (Lamu Port South-Sudan Ethiopia Transport).

Land acquisition, way leaf access and cost of power are major contributors associated with project development in Kenya. This has led to derailment of major projects that can attract economic growth the country.  These are among factored issues that investors and government stakeholders addressed during the International Project Financing Association (IPFA) event held in Nairobi. The event sought to enlighten private investors from neighbouring regions, on the importance of investing in mega projects specifically the LAPSSET (Lamu Port South-Sudan Ethiopia Transport).

Project financing is a pivotal procurement technique used to promote the development of infrastructure and economic expansion in many countries in Africa. The Government of Kenya has made infrastructure development through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) Unit to help address the major infrastructure gaps in the country. This Unit has helped in strengthening private investor participation in order to improve PPP relations.

Addressing investors at the event, IPFA East Africa Chairman and Head of PPP Unit in Kenya, Eng Stanley Kamau said, “Private sector financing is one of the major ways in which LAPSSET can be funded so as to offer a dynamic and efficient way to deliver and manage public infrastructure.”

PPP unit was established to oversee and implement Government of Kenya PPP programs. Some of the ongoing projects under PPP unit are the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) projects and Rift Valley Railways through a joint concession agreement to rehabilitate, operate and maintain the rail networks as one railway system connecting Kenya and Uganda.

“The Government of Kenya is not throwing away the private sector investment into nothing, it has a preparatory plan in place to ensure land acquisition and way leaf access no longer becomes a hindrance to private firms in project development. Thus, it will continue to forge a way forward to make investors more comfortable in doing business in Kenya,” remarked Mr. Silvester Kasuku, Director General, LAPSSET Corridor Authority.

Kasuku added “The diversification of local investors to venture into new investment opportunities   specifically infrastructure right now will be of great prominence as most of the components under LAPSSET Authority like railways, ports, airports and roads are at their advanced stages which makes them viable for investment.”
LAPSSET Corridor is the first game changer infrastructure project that the Kenyan Government has initiated and prepared under Vision 2030 Strategy Framework.

One of the projects that have attracted private investment is the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP). Director of LTWP, Carlo Van Wageningen said that “Constructing the first and largest wind plant in Africa in Marsabit County did not come as an easy task. The first challenge we had to encounter is lack of infrastructure development in the area as the County is rated as one of the poorest areas in Kenya. Secondly, political interference and partial risk guarantees also contributed to slow development of the project.”

Lake Turkana Wind Power is positioned to provide 300MW of clean energy to the national grid taking advantage of the wind resource.  Wind energy is the next source of power as it is renewable, clean and environmentally friendly further displacing fossil fuel driven electricity. Once it’s completed in 2016, it will provide reliable and continuous clean power to satisfy up to 17 per cent of Kenya’s total installed power.

Meanwhile, International Financing Corporation, a private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group has granted Kenya KES87bn to finance Kenya’s projects set to be carried out this year. In 2014, IFC committed KES84.8bn to assist Kenya invest in infrastructure, agribusiness, health, education and financial services in Africa.

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