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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

KENYA LOSES RACE TO HOST $30M AFREXIMBANK OFFICE

Afreximbank headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. The multilateral lender is relocating to the Kampala after Nairobi kept it waiting for more than three years for the necessary approvals.
Kenya’s reluctance to grant the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) diplomatic status has forced the agency to move its Ksh3 billion ($30m) regional headquarters to Uganda, denying Nairobi the benefits that come with hosting such prominent international organisations.

Benedict Oramah, the chairman and president of African Export-Import Bank, Thursday confirmed that the multilateral lender is relocating to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, after Nairobi kept it waiting for more than three years for the necessary approvals.

Mr Oramah said that the lender is now set to sign a deal with Uganda before the end of the year to establish its regional branch in Kampala.

“It took too long to obtain the necessary approvals from Kenya, that is the reason we made the decision to go to Uganda at their invitation,” Dr Oramah said.

Relocating to Kampala means all potential benefits of hosting such an office, including investment in buildings, rents, and employment, will now accrue to Uganda.

Regional financial hub

Observers also see the loss of hosting rights to Kampala as a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to create a regional financial hub in Nairobi and to open Kenya to Africans.

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