United States, Kenya sign Sh8.8b grant to boost urban transport

Thursday, September 21st, 2023 07:50 | By
From left: MCC CEO Alice Albright, President William Ruto and Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u during the signing of the Kenya Urban Mobility and Growth Threshold Programme in New York. PHOTO/PCS

Kenya and United States of America firm,  Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), have signed a $60 million (Sh8.8 billion) agreement to improve urban connectivity and promote economic growth in the country.

 The programme, jointly designed with the Kenya government aims and MCC aims to address challenges that limit connectivity in urban areas. It will focus on Nairobi, where it aims to strengthen institutions and support improvements in long-term planning for integrated, accessible and safer transportation and land use. 

Transportation needs

 National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u signed on behalf of Kenya, at an occasion that was witnessed by President William Ruto.   Ndung’u said the government is committed to the activities and reforms that make up the Threshold Programme that was jointly designed with MCC by the two countries.

The programme will focus on the transportation needs of pedestrians and develop more visible transportation options for women. It will also provide financing support for the acquisition of climate-friendly buses for the emerging bus rapid transit network.

 “This planned investment will strengthen our transport and land sectors and will generate benefits for the people of Nairobi, as well as for all Kenyans,” Ndung’u said.  The MCC Chief Executive Officer Alice Albright said her organisation’s grant to Kenya is the largest and most ambitious threshold program the firm has ever implemented with a partner country.

 “It reflects MCC’s confidence in Kenya to address its own challenges to economic growth and is yet one more symbol of the longstanding relationship between our two countries,” Albright said, a ceremony President Ruto said “marked an exciting milestone in the growing partnership” between the two countries.

 Ruto, who is in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, has been engaging world leaders in bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference, among them the Switzerland President Alain Berset. He said Kenya is keen to explore more opportunities for cooperation with Switzerland to bolster trade and investment.

Economic freedom

MCC threshold programmes are grants that allow partner countries to demonstrate their commitment to democratic governance, economic freedom and investments in their people through targeted policy reforms and capacity building programs. In doing so, partner countries focus resources and support to tackle constraints to economic growth.

 The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth.  Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.

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