France Pledges $2.8 Billion for African Startups and Business Enterprises by 2022

France Pledges $2.8 Billion for African Startups and Business Enterprises by 2022

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Emmanuel Macron

‘Choose Africa’ a $2.8 billion initiative by the French Government will be launched at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said the funds will be used in financing and supporting startups and small- to medium-sized enterprises by 2022 in Africa.

“This is aimed at creating jobs and building a positive win-win approach with African governments,” said President Macron in Nairobi. He said this will foster growth and returns, that reduce public expenditure risks.

“The best way to have growth is respecting a country’s sovereignty through sustainable financing,” he added.

In Kenya, he pledged Ksh 113 billion to finance and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to Macron, the funds will provide credit, technical support, and equity financing, the French Development Agency said in an emailed statement.

The funds will be mobilized via the AFD and its private-sector financing arm, Proparco.

At State House Nairobi, Macron and President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled an SUV Peugeot vehicle which has been assembled in Kenya by French firm PSA Groupe for sale in Kenya and the region.

Macron committed KSh45 billion towards the construction of a commuter train infrastructure which will connect Nairobi’s Central Business District and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by 2021.

President Uhuru said the move will revamp East African Railway and transform it into a modern world class railway which can handle in excess of 500,000 people daily.

“Today I thank the government of France for partnering with Kenya to enhance the transport system in East Africa’s busiest iconic city of Kenya, Nairobi,” he said, adding that he will build quality, resilient and sustainable infrastructure for this and future generations.“Let us get to work and see us breaking ground and moving forward on the shortest time possible. Let us not take 10 years but two years to realise this project,” he said.