Regional analysts on Wednesday hailed China’s role in transforming Kenya by funding key infrastructure projects.

Brian Chege, senior investment analyst of Nairobi-based Britam Asset Managers, welcomed the new financing from China as traditional sources of financing have dried up or remain contingent on certain stringent conditions.

Kenya’s traditional donors since independence have been the United States and European nations but Chege said over the past decade, Beijing has financed the most significant infrastructure projects in Kenya.

“These infrastructure projects are a manifestation that Sino-Kenya relations are based on a win-win partnership,” Chege said.

In early June, the 3.8-billion-U.S.-dollar 482-km Standard Gauge Railway was opened to link Nairobi to Mombasa. It was 90 percent financed by China’s Exim Bank.

According to the analysts, China has over the past three decades invested heavily in its own infrastructure in a bid to modernize its economy.

“So, China has gained enormous skills and has also accumulated finances that Kenya can access to develop its economy,” Chege said.
Britam said that China is an ideal partner for Kenya because of its ability to offer long-term loans at concessional rates.

“However, it is critical for Kenya to use the funds wisely in order to reap maximum benefits from the cheap source of finance,” he added.

Kenya’s major transport corridors also form a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative that seeks to better connect Asia, Europe and Africa.

Britam Asset Managers is a diversified financial services group that has presence in seven countries in Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique and Malawi. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/