During President William Ruto’s recent visit to Japan, Kenya secured financial agreements worth Sh350 billion, signifying a significant milestone in bilateral cooperation between the two nations. These agreements aim to support various projects and programs across sectors, with a focus on boosting Kenya’s economic prospects.
The largest beneficiaries of these agreements are the Dongo Kundu Infrastructure Ecosystem and the Mombasa Gateway Bridge, receiving a combined investment of KSh 250 billion. These projects hold immense potential for driving economic growth and enhancing connectivity in the coastal region of Kenya.
In addition to these major infrastructure initiatives, President Ruto and Prime Minister Fumio Kushida agreed on the issuance of a KSh 40 billion Samurai bond in Japan. This yen-denominated bond will be utilized to finance critical energy and infrastructure projects in Kenya, underscoring Japan’s commitment to supporting Kenya’s development agenda.
Furthermore, Kenya secured KSh 30 billion from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to acquire heavy machinery and mechanized assets, essential for advancing various sectors of the economy. Additionally, KSh 15 billion has been allocated to the Olkaria Geothermal Development Project, a key initiative aimed at enhancing Kenya’s renewable energy capacity.
Recognizing the importance of healthcare infrastructure, Japan has pledged KSh 1 billion for the production of medical oxygen, addressing the critical needs of hospitals across Kenya. Moreover, through the United Nations, Kenya will receive KSh 320 million in humanitarian aid to assist those affected by recent El Nino-related floods, demonstrating international solidarity in times of crisis.
President Ruto emphasized the significance of the bilateral agreements, highlighting their role in strengthening Kenya-Japan relations. He expressed confidence in the robustness and dynamism of the partnership between the two countries, underscoring their shared commitment to mutual prosperity and cooperation.
The agreements extend beyond infrastructure and humanitarian assistance, encompassing cooperation in various sectors such as ICT, health, finance, and security. Notably, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed to enhance the capacity of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in pandemic management, with an investment of KSh 3 billion.
In a historic move, Kenya became the first African country to sign a defence pact with Japan, signalling a new era of security cooperation between the two nations. This agreement will facilitate collaboration in promoting peace and stability in Africa and safeguarding maritime trade routes.
President Ruto also highlighted Japan’s support for Kenya’s agricultural initiatives, including the completion of Phase II of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme and the National Rice Masterplan. These efforts underscore Kenya’s commitment to achieving food security and fostering agricultural development.
Furthermore, both leaders discussed modalities for financing national development, emphasizing the importance of government-to-government and Public-Private Partnership frameworks. President Ruto urged Japan to support reforms in the international financial system to ensure equitable development financing for developing countries.