U.S. pension funds scout for additional investments in Kenya

U.S. pension funds scout for additional investments in Kenya

Kenya will over the next three days play host to close to 30 U.S. pension and asset management funds who are currently scouting for further investment opportunities in infrastructure.

The United States delegation is led by the Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure (MiDA) pact, a partnership between the U.S. National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

NASP Chairman Donna Wilson says there exists a great opportunity to scale up American investments in the country in spite of their current limited exposure.

“Our delegation of US institutional investors comes to Kenya with a keen interest to explore investment opportunities in the region. We are looking forward to advancing discussions with our Kenyan counterparts at the Kenya Pension Fund Investment Consortium (KEPFIC) for mutual support and benefit,” he said.

The investors will over the course of their stay advance discussions with the local investor stakeholders to foster a mutual working relationship in funding infrastructure projects in the country.

The partnership between the pair will be crucial to the attainment of the government’s development agenda which is largely underpinned in infrastructure to include the construction of up to 10,000 kilometers of tarmac and 500,000 affordable housing units.

U.S. pension funds have grown to play an important role in Africa’s economic development contributing to close 80 billion shillings (USD 800 million) in investments since 2017.

In Kenya, the fund managers will be critical to the funding of government projects as the country looks more towards the private sector for support as its own development-revenue streams become depleted.

According to data from the National Treasury, Kenya’s infrastructure funding gap totals Ksh.400 billion (USD 4 billion) and is set to expand further, year-on-year, prompting the need for inner workings between the government and the private sector in the form of public-private partnerships (PPPs).