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Kenya lists East Africa’s first corporate bond1 minute read

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Eco-friendly investors now have a platform to raise funds after East Africa’s premier $ 42 million green bond started trading yesterday at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

According to Chief Executive of Nairobi Securities Exchange, Geoffrey Odundo, the corporate green bond is expected to attract both retail and institutional investors that are keen to have green assets as part of their portfolios.

The medium-term note will be used to finance the construction of up to six green-certified properties developed by Acorn to create clean, safe and affordable accommodation for 5,000 students in Nairobi.

A green bond is one whose monies are used to fund environmentally sustainable projects.

The move will help in raising Kenya’s profile internationally as a country committed to fighting climate change and pursuing environmental causes.

According to the NSE, the last corporate bond issued in Kenya was in 2016.

“We expect the new corporate listing to reignite interest for corporates to use the capital markets to raise funds for their expansion activities,” Odundo adds.

Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, says that the country is prioritizing the use of green finance in order to fund projects that will mitigate the negative impact of climate change- adding that African countries continue to bear the brunt of extreme weather patterns such as floods and drought.

Sam Kimani, chairman NSE said that stock exchanges have a pivotal role to play in supporting green finance so as to help solve the climate challenge by meeting the growing demand for low carbon projects in Kenya.

Kimani adds that financial tools such as green bonds are helping drive more capital towards sustainable development projects.

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Tanzania, France sign water supply loan agreement

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Tanzania has signed a loan agreement with France to finance water supply projects that will benefit about 770,000 people in the country’s Morogoro municipality.

The French government will extend the loan worth about $76 million to Tanzania through its French Development Agency (AFD), according to Dotto James, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning who signed the agreement on behalf of Tanzania.

“Upon completion, the water supply in the Morogoro municipality will increase from the current 37,000 cubic meters a day to 108,000 cubic meters a day,” James told a press conference following a signing ceremony in Morogoro.

AFD Country Representative for Tanzania, Stephanie Mouen says the project will improve the well-being of the people in the municipality and it will also improve the environment.

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South Africa to boost economy with $20.5 billion public work projects

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South Africa is planning projects worth $20.5 billion in sectors such as transport, energy and water as it looks to drive an economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Paul Mashatile, the ANC’s treasurer-general, told a video conference organized by think- tank Chatham House, that the infrastructure projects will soon be approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet after talks with the private sector and multilateral development banks.

The projects will focus on areas such as railways, ports, energy, information technology, water and sanitation and housing, he added.

Africa’s most industrialised economy was already in recession before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, with the central bank now predicting a seven percent gross domestic product contraction this year and some economists forecasting a double-digit budget deficit.

Enoch Godongwana, who heads the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, told the same video conference that the government hoped to stimulate economic demand via the infrastructure programme, drawing on lessons from the 2010 soccer World Cup the country hosted.

“Global trade is going to be subdued, therefore exports will be minimal, we have got to look at how we stimulate demand in our given circumstances,” Godongwana said.

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Uganda approves return of over 2,500 nationals stranded abroad

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Over 2,500 Ugandan nationals stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic can now return home as approved by the Ugandan cabinet.

The cabinet on Monday, agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost.

The government is making arrangements with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens home, Judith Nabakooba, the country’s minister for information, communication technology and national guidance says, adding that all the returning citizens will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine. 

President Yoweri Museveni last month, directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to study the possibility of evacuating dozens of citizens stranded abroad amid Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. 

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the country on March 22 suspended all incoming flights, except cargo flights. 

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