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Kenya’s Digital Transformation Gets $250M Boost from US Finance Corporation

Nairobi Kenya

In a significant development for Kenya’s digital and sustainable mobility landscape, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has unveiled a substantial $250 million financing package. The announcement was made during President William Ruto’s State Visit to Washington in May 2024, underscoring the strengthening ties between the two nations.

Through a strategic mix of loans and grants, DFC has invested in several prominent Kenyan companies, including M-KOPA, BasiGo, Mogo Auto, Roam Electric, and Pezesha Africa Limited. These investments aim to accelerate digital connectivity and advance e-mobility initiatives across the East African country.

One of the key beneficiaries is M-KOPA, a Nairobi-based digital financing company that caters to underbanked Africans. M-KOPA has secured a $51 million loan from DFC to bolster digital connectivity nationwide and provide affordable smartphones to underserved communities. In a ceremonial signing, CEO Scott Nathan and Co-Founder Jesse Moore formalized the commitment. According to DFC, M-KOPA has already locally produced over 1 million smartphones and plans to expand its production facility with support from DFC and the Kenyan government.

Furthering the e-mobility agenda, DFC has provided a $10 million loan to Mogo Auto Kenya and BasiGo. This investment aligns with President Ruto’s Africa Green Industrialisation Initiative, promoting sustainable transportation solutions. Mogo Kenya specializes in used vehicle loans, logbook loans, and boda boda (motorcycle) loans, while BasiGo is a Kenyan electric bus manufacturer that recently launched its production line in the country.

Additionally, Roam Electric has received a $10 million loan from DFC to support the design, development, and deployment of electric motorcycles, buses, and charging infrastructure in Kenya. Pezesha, a digital financial enabler for SMEs, has also been granted a $500,000 Technical Assistance grant to leverage advanced computing technologies for improved credit scoring algorithms.

These announcements follow President Ruto’s State Visit to the United States, where he was welcomed by President Biden to celebrate and deepen the 60-year partnership between the two countries. The visit was marked by the release of a US government report, ‘FACT SHEET: Kenya State Visit to the United States,’ which highlighted key investments and support in Kenya’s digital and renewable energy sectors.

Alongside DFC’s financing, tech giants Google and Microsoft have also announced significant investments in Kenya’s digital infrastructure. Microsoft and G42 have partnered to establish a $1 billion data center campus in Kenya, powered by renewable geothermal energy and water conservation technology. Microsoft’s initiative also encompasses AI and internet connectivity projects in the country.

Similarly, Google has unveiled plans for a fiber optic cable project, cybersecurity assistance, and AI development initiatives in Kenya. Notably, the Umoja fiber optic cable project is the first to directly connect Africa and Australia, fostering intercontinental connectivity.

With the collective support from the US government, DFC, and leading technology companies, Kenya is poised to experience a transformative leap in its digital and sustainable energy landscapes. These investments not only strengthen the nation’s technological capabilities but also contribute to economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development.



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