Kenya has received a five-year boost of Sh79.2 billion ($915 million) from the African Development Bank (AFDB) to aid economic empowerment, infrastructure upgrades and job creation.
The funds, which would be made available from 2014 to 2018, will be spent on infrastructural development and tertiary education, said AfDB.
“To achieve our main objective, we have designed the [Country Strategy Paper] around two main pillars. We will continue to support the government’s effort to enhance physical infrastructure to unleash inclusive growth and secondly, develop skills for the emerging labor market for Kenya’s transforming economy,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
The lender said its primary focus would be on infrastructural development such as water, energy and roads, which it believes will increase access to affordable and reliable electricity, enhance access to reliable water supply and improve transport connectivity as well as reduce transportation cost.
“At enterprise level, this will boost private-sector activity, increase productivity, stimulate structural transformation, and generate employment,” Negatu said.
The second part of its intervention will be aimed at improving Kenya’s access to emerging technology-based labor markets and to lower skills for the labor-intensive sectors.
Emphasis will be laid on Technical Vocational Education and Training, which has suffered in Kenya since the country began its focus on university education. This, the bank believes, will help develop mid-level skills of artisans and technicians for emerging labor markets in the country and the East African region.
Skills needed in infrastructure such as ICT, energy, roads and water would also be developed through apprenticeship programs and training.