(Ecofin Agency) - Italian President Sergio Matarella has been on an official visit to Kenya since Monday 13 March. During his stay, the leader intends to give a new impetus to Italian-Kenyan relations, especially by strengthening cooperation with ICT, agribusiness, and biofuel projects.
Italy will allocate $107 million to finance projects in Kenya. The plan was announced, Tuesday, during a visit by Italian President Sergio Matarella (photo, left) to his counterpart William Ruto (photo, right).
The financing will consist of grants and soft loans to support agriculture, MSMEs, housing and urban habitat, health, and digital and creative economy.
President Matarella’s visit offered Italy and Kenya the opportunity to sign two agreements, two memoranda of understanding, and a joint statement aimed at providing a framework for the advancement of bilateral cooperation in various areas. According to Kenyan authorities, the health sector is one of the areas concerned and the projects in that sector aim to achieve universal health coverage and improve pharmaceutical production.
Kenya, which is the largest East African economy, is considered by several foreign countries as one of the main gateways to the regional market in particular and Africa in general. The US, China, the UK, and South Korea, among others, have been increasing their investments in recent years to strengthen their economic presence in the country, which has a strong economic momentum despite debt-related problems.
"The agreements we have signed today are a sign of how far our relations are advancing. We will continue partnering to foster an investor-friendly environment," said Sergio Matarella.
The two countries also agreed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade and investment. An agreement to eliminate double taxation is also being negotiated to facilitate mutual foreign direct investment.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou