President Uhuru Kenyatta rang the bell to begin trading at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Monday, as part of the launch of Kenya’s first green bond in conjunction with his visit to the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020.
The US$40 million bond by Acorn Holdings, a property development firm based in Nairobi, will help raise funds to build 50,000 environmentally friendly housing units for university students in the city.
Kenyatta urged UK investors to choose Africa, tapping into Kenya’s growing economy and the wider opportunities that the African Continental Free Trade Area will deliver.
“There is no better place to appreciate the realities of global economic activity and investment trends than this trading floor,” Kenyatta said. The East African nation plans a sovereign green bond, and has an agreement to broaden investment in Kenya by jointly listing Kenyan firms in both Nairobi and London.
“I invite the LSE to continue working with Kenya towards achieving this goal,” he said.
Kenyatta noted the green bonds provide opportunity for African countries as well as those from the Caribbean and the Pacific region, to access capital in order to support growth in the face of more significant and earlier climate impacts than much of the world experiences.
Alok Sharma, the UK secretary for international development, said the investment summit led to billions of pounds of new initiatives expected to create jobs.
“We want to see investment that builds self-sustaining economies, economies that can provide quality health and education for everyone, and investments that properly consider their impact on the environment,” he said.
Image: Presidency Kenya