European Investment Bank Vice President Pim van Ballekom will visit Kenya later this week to mark the 10 year anniversary of local operations of the world’s largest international public bank and to announce the EIB’s largest ever support for small business investment in East Africa.

Since 2005 the Nairobi presence of the European Investment Bank responsible for Central and Eastern Africa has supported more than EUR 3 billion (KSh 325 billion) of investment both across the region and elsewhere in Africa.

During the visit the European Investment Bank is expected to announce more than EUR 110 million (KSh 12 billion) of new support for lending to local companies with leading banks active in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. The European Investment Bank will also outline increased engagement to support climate related investment in Africa.

“Across Africa investment in energy, water and transport infrastructure, as well as ensuring that entrepreneurs and companies can unlock new business opportunities, are essential for economic growth, improving lives and ensuring a better future. The European Investment Bank’s engagement in East Africa has been transformed since the opening of our Nairobi office a decade ago. With the help of the Nairobi team and local partners, the EIB looks forward to making an even stronger financial and technical contribution to projects that make a difference in Kenya and across East Africa in the years ahead.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, has backed schemes that have transformed energy, water and transport in Kenya and neighbouring countries. These include investment at Olkaria to harness Kenya’s geothermal resources and enable geothermal resources to become the country’s main source of power.

The Nairobi office also played a key role in enabling the European Investment Bank to be one of the largest investors in the 250MW Bujagali Hydropower Plant that uses a clean and renewable source of energy, the Nile River, to nearly double existing power generation in Uganda and the Lake Turkana Wind Farm expected to significantly increase clean power generation in Kenya when commissioned next year.

“This week world leaders are meeting in Paris and seeking to reach a global climate agreement. I am pleased confirm that the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest lender for climate related investment, is committed to increasing support for projects across Africa, in countries most vulnerable to a changing and more uncertain climate. This will build on the European Investment Bank strong track record supporting renewable energy projects in Kenya, Uganda and Burundi. The EIB is working closely with local and international partners to improve the supply of clean water to hundreds of communities around Lake Victoria and adapting water and sanitation systems to a changing climate.” added Vice President van Ballekom.

The new private sector support to be announced in East Africa will back investment by micro, small and medium enterprises under dedicated credit lines that reflect different investment needs. The new programmes will support job creation and economic growth in Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi by providing long-term local and foreign currency loans and support investment across a range of sectors, including agriculture.

The lending will be supported by technical assistance to improve credit risk assessment, business development and implementation of environmental and social policies by partner banks, and to strengthen the business and investment skills of final beneficiaries, backed by the European Investment Bank and the European Union.

“Investment by small companies and entrepreneurs is essential for economic growth and to create jobs. The European Investment Bank is pleased to strengthen our support to ensure that companies in Kenya and across East Africa can unlock new business opportunities and build on previous successful engagement with leading local banks. Lending with local banking partners is a key part of the European Investment Bank’s contribution to Europe’s engagement to support economic development across Africa.” added Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 18 billion for investment across Africa.