President Kenyatta Pushes For New Ways To Fund Africa’s Covid-19 Recovery

President Uhuru Kenyatta has suggested a number of new approaches to funding Africa’s Covid-19 recovery efforts, arguing that the private sector should be encouraged to play a larger role.

Along with private sector involvement, the President called for improved recovery packages from Africa’s development partners, debt swaps and restructuring, and faster access to alternative funding sources like the Green Climate Fund.

“Innovative financing solutions that crowd in the private sector. These would include the issuance of private sector-backed financial instruments such as green bonds, supporting the issuance of local currency instruments, structuring guarantees to lower financing costs; and, developing and deepening public-private partnership opportunities.” President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We must go beyond conventional interventions and incorporate genuinely transformational funding solutions that are proportional to the magnitude of the crisis.” President Uhuru added.

President Kenyatta gave a virtual address on Tuesday at State House in Nairobi to the summit on funding African economies, which was hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France and attended by many leaders, including President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is also the new African Union Chairperson.

“With regard to access to vaccines, we talk about economic recovery but there can’t be any recovery without access to vaccine and Africa is desperately lacking in vaccines,” President Kenyatta stressing the importance of expanding access to Covid-19 vaccines in African countries.

He stated that Kenya will continue to open up its thriving economy to private sector involvement, claiming that the country’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) regime has been improved.

“We commit to augment our limited fiscal space by revitalizing Public Private Partnership (PPP). In Kenya, we have put measures in place to leverage on PPPs to provide greater operational efficiency and reduce pressure on fiscal space,” he said.

“Opportunities abound for private sector investments and Joint Ventures, in virtually all sectors. To close the infrastructure and development deficits. We welcome the private sector to invest in Africa,” he said.

President Kenyatta, on the other hand, praised ongoing initiatives by development partners to protect Africa from the negative effects of Covid-19, stating that Africa requires more money to combat the pandemic, resolve debt vulnerabilities, and address hunger, among other pressing needs.

He added that Kenya appreciates the extra-ordinary efforts from development partners to finance economic recovery and reduce debt vulnerability.

“Kenya welcomes commitments from bilateral and multilateral agencies to support emerging and low-income countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Adding, the President said that, despite its destruction, Covid-19 provides an opportunity for African economies to rebound stronger.

The President also emphasized the importance of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in sustaining African livelihoods, and praised the creation of the Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa (AEA) as a special tool for mobilizing funds for the sector.

“In Africa most livelihoods are supported by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which have not been spared by the impact of the pandemic. Kenya, therefore, welcomes the launch of the Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa to support mobilization of financial and technical resources for MSMEs.” President Uhuru Kenyatta.