Alongside overall funding for the airport, the European Investment Bank today formally launched a USD 6 million support programme to minimise disruption during the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport passenger facility in Nairobi, Kenya. The grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund will be used to provide technical assistance, capacity building and environmental support for the airport upgrading project. The European Investment Bank agreed in December, 2009 to co-finance the JKIA upgrading project and will provide USD 93 million. Agence Francaise de Developpement will also provide USD 93 million for the airport upgrading scheme.

Eng S. M. Gichuki, Managing Director said “KAA as an Airport operator must continually develop our country’s aviation infrastructure to not only cope with demand and capacity constraints but serve as a catalyst for the country’s economic prosperity by adequately serving all our customers at world class standards. Indeed the reason why we are here today is to sign of these important financial agreements to enable us fulfil our mandate to the aviation sector”.

Speaking at the signature ceremony held at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport earlier today European Investment Bank Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris said: “The European Investment Bank is financing the upgrading of JKIA as part of our wider strategy of investing in key infrastructure across Africa. This will provide an efficient transport link that acts as a key building block for strong economic growth in Kenya. Successful completion of the project, and ensuring minimal inconvenience for passengers, will benefit East Africa’s leading transport hub and improve links to the wider world.

Jean-Pierre Marcelli, Director of the Francaise de Developpement Nairobi office said: “Through the financing of JKIA Expansion Program, AFD intends to contribute to Kenya’s and the EAC economic growth and to enhance competitiveness of the region. In Kenya, air transport is a key issue for channelling hard currencies coming from tourism and high-value exports for perishable goods, notably flowers and vegetables. This investment will be profitable for all the users and customers of the airport.

The technical assistance grant, from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, will help ensure a smooth transition of airport operations during the rehabilitation of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and the arrivals hall, as well as the construction of the new Terminal 4. Specialist consultants will coordinate expansion of the existing terminal to ensure minimal disruption to passengers, airlines and airport operations.

Air transport has become increasingly important to the economy of Kenya, sustaining the tourist industry and the fresh flower and horticulture export markets. The current airport was originally designed for an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers, and presently handles almost double that volume, leading to difficulties in meeting international customer service standards. The proposed project will increase design capacity to 9.3 million annual passengers and providing improved security that comply with International Civil Aviation Authority ICAO) standards.

Vice President Sakellaris is currently on a three day visit to Kenya to see other initiatives funded by the European Investment Bank including the Olkaria Geothermal power plant and other projects. The European Investment Bank delegation will also be meeting President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, other senior government ministers and business leaders.


Notes for editors:

European Investment Bank

  • The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 European Union member states, has been active across Africa for over 40 years. EIB activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states and whose Finance Ministers are the EIB’s Governors.
  • Over the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 890 m for the East and Central African region. In 2009, the European Investment Bank provided over EUR 1.1bn of funding to sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank supports public sector projects that are critical for private sector development and the creation of a competitive business environment. The Bank provides a broad range of financing instruments including loans, guarantees and risk capital to Africa selecting projects that can deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, an instrument of the EU-Africa Partnership on Infrastructure, promotes regional infrastructure schemes to foster wider African development. It is funded by the European Commission and a number of European Member States, managed by the EIB. The Fund provides grants alongside long- term loan finance made available by financial institutions to support cross-border infrastructure investments in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The World Bank will also contribute USD 18m for the airport upgrading project.