Over KSH 6.9 billion of UK funding for solar power plant, creating up to 250 jobs in Kenya
Over KSH 1.4 billion investment by British business De La Rue to expand operations in Kenya
Over KSH 6 billion investment by Unity Homes, whose major shareholders are British, to build 1,200 affordable homes at Tatu City.
Over KSH 186 million package of support for creative industries in Kenya and Nigeria
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has today welcomed over KSH 13 billion of new investment in Kenya on the final day of his week-long visit to Africa. This new investment will create hundreds of jobs in Kenya, and will pave the way for future opportunities.

The new Malindi Solar Project from British company Globeleg will see over KSH 6.9 billion Kenyan shillings invested in Kilifi county to deliver clean cheap power for local residents. In addition to creating long term jobs running the new project, construction is expected to create 250 jobs locally.

A new innovative joint venture between British firm De La Rue and the Government of Kenya, will build on De La Rue’s successful operations in Kenya, to create even more highly skilled jobs for Kenyans. De La Rue already contributes over KSH 1 Billion to the Kenyan economy on an annual basis, through wages, rent, taxes, and purchases from local suppliers. The firm, which manufactures paper and security printed products including banknotes, employs 300 Kenyans directly, and provides employment opportunities for 3000 Kenyans through its supply chains. A new KS 1.4bn investment to upgrade their facilities will build a pipeline of new opportunities in the region, generating revenue and creating even more high quality jobs in Kenya.

Unity Homes, whose major shareholders are British, will build 1,200 affordable homes at Tatu City. The new investment, worth over KSH 6 billion, will create 250 construction jobs. When complete the new affordable homes will give residents access to all the amenities of Tatu City, including new schools, and employment opportunities in Tatu Industrial Park.

The Foreign Secretary also announced an additional KSH 186 million package of support targeted at the creative industries in Kenya and Nigeria. The Creative Enterprise programme will help 540 entrepreneurs from across the two countries access training and support in the UK.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“I have seen for myself the incredible opportunities opening up between the UK and Kenya and the close partnership which already exists between our countries. It is great to see British investment creating jobs, prosperity and growth in Kenya and across the continent.”

De La Rue’s Regional Director for Africa, Matt West said:

“This innovative Joint Venture with the Government of Kenya, which builds on De La Rue’s already long and productive business relationships here, expands the opportunities for highly skilled jobs for Kenyans and opens up the prospect of new business in the region, which will add yet more value to this highly productive partnership.”

Moses Anibaba, the British Council's Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said:

“This is an exciting and highly anticipated launch by the Foreign Secretary of a proven creative enterprise support model, that we piloted in Lagos, Nigeria and are now expanding in Nigeria and Kenya.

“The programme presents a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs in the UK and Africa to connect, create jobs and build enterprises in what is a fast-growing industry and one that is a sector of competitive advantage, in both countries.

“I am convinced that through the programme, the partnership between the Creative economies of the UK and Africa will be strengthened, enhancing creative expression and prosperity.”


British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, took part in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching event during his visit to Nairobi last week, to help find Kenya’s next budding entrepreneur.

Ten shortlisted candidates pitched to a panel of entrepreneurs and innovators for the chance to access up to KSH 13 million each in grant funding and technical assistance to help them scale up. The selected innovative enterprises were focussed on one of three sectors: agriculture and manufacturing; the informal sector; or marginalised groups.

The Foreign Secretary joined a panel of judges, chaired by Darshan Chandaria, to grill candidates on their business proposals, helping identify those which could have a transformative impact, creating jobs for Kenya’s young population.

The winners of the pitching event were Ten Senses Africa, TakaTaka Solutions, Lynk Jobs Limited, Savanna Circuit and Build Her.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“As a former entrepreneur myself, I have been inspired by the dynamic and talented businessmen and women I have met in Kenya, and look forward to seeing their fantastic companies become the household names of the future.”

CEO, Chandaria Group & Founder, Chandaria Capital, Darshan Chandaria said:

“I am honoured to be a part of the Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund judging panel. I am very passionate about entrepreneurship and youth development. Great to see our Kenyan youth coming up with innovative business ideas that promote job creation and the Kenyan economy. Investing in SMEs is critical for all aspects of the country's development. I am also very thankful to Nic Hailey, the British High Commissioner and the UK government for supporting Kenya through this generous initiative. Congratulations to all the winners and for those who didn't get it this time, there is always a next time.”

The pitching event was the first of its kind under the new Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund, a £5 million UK aid funded programme, announced during the British Prime Minister’s visit last year. The Jobs Fund is being implemented by Mercy Corps, a global organisation recognised as a thought leader in tackling youth unemployment in Kenya. The fund supports tried and tested business ideas, helping them scale up to stimulate large-scale job creation in Kenya.

Allison Huggins, Mercy Corps Deputy Regional Director for Africa said:

“I am thrilled that Mercy Corps is working with the UK Government to find local solutions to one of Kenya’s most pressing issues.”

“Unemployment in Kenya is the highest in East Africa and yet it is a nation that is driving innovation on the continent. The aim of this award is to bridge the gap between innovators and the unemployed.”

“The funding awarded today is about putting Kenyans in the driving seat. It is about supporting partners who share our vision and can harness innovation to generate much needed employment.”

Kenya Catalytic Job Fund

The UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s Kenya Catalytic Job Fund will invest £5 million over the next four years with a focus on creating jobs for young people. The fund targets tried and tested enterprises creating opportunities in agriculture and manufacturing; opportunities in the informal sector (e.g. for artisans, small-scale farmers and microenterprises); and opportunities for marginalised groups & geographies.

The fund responds to what Kenya’s young people tell us they want; opportunities, choices, and jobs.

Successful candidates of this first pitching event will receive up to KSH 13 million worth of grant funding and technical assistance to scale their businesses and create jobs. The Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund is being implemented by Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Working in more than 40 countries around the world, Mercy Corps believes that communities are the best agents of their own change and local markets are the best engines of long-term recovery. When disaster or emergency strikes, Mercy Corps puts bold solutions into action, helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Pitching event

The Pitching event was hosted at Metta, at 14 Riverside in Nairobi.

The judges for the event were: Darshan Chandaria, Sally Gitonga, Bindi Karia, Andrew Carruthers and Nancy Kairo. The judges were joined by British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The winners of the pitching event were:

Ten Senses Africa – Ten Senses Africa works with nearly 30,000 smallholder farmers to produce and export macadamia and cashew nuts.

TakaTaka Solutions – TakaTaka solutions is investing in recycling, creating jobs for waste pickers, sorters and factory workers

Lynk Jobs Limited – Lynk Jobs Limited is transforming the informal labour sector by providing a technology platform that connects workers to clients

Savanna Circuit – Savanna Circuit has developed a solar powered cooling unit to help milk farmers reduce spoilage and increase profits

BuildHer – BuildHer trains disadvantaged women from informal settlements in construction and life skills.

The other shortlisted candidates were: Hope Tech Plus, Mohazo Exi-Impo, Daproim Africa, Equatorial Sunpower and Rio Fish.

30th August 2018 - UK Prime Minister visit to Kenya press release

Thank you, Mr President, for hosting me today, and for your very warm welcome to Nairobi. I’m delighted to be paying my first visit to Kenya – and indeed the first by a British Prime Minister for 30 years.

Like the many thousands of British tourists who come here every year, I will take away unforgettable memories of this country’s vibrancy and its beauty. Kenya holds a special place in the hearts of the British people and our countries share, as you have said, a long history that has left us deeply connected to one another. Indeed, it was here that our monarch learned she would become Queen. But the relationship we hold is about much more than those deep historical ties.

And today we have looked to the future and to a renewed partnership that will unlock the incredible potential of the next generation to benefit both our countries. And we have agreed to build on the strong foundations of our relationship as we step up our cooperation to secure the prosperity and security that our people need and deserve.

We discussed today how the UK can work with you as you take forward your Big 4 agenda to transform Kenya – aligning our expertise, our investment and our aid behind that vision. The UK is already the largest foreign investor in Kenya and I have set out this week our ambition to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa by 2022. So as Britain prepares to leave the European Union we are committed to a smooth transition that ensures continuity in our trading relationship with Kenya, ensuring Kenya retains its duty-free, quota-free access to the UK market. And to building on our strong trade and investment ties to create even more opportunities for our businesses and for our consumers.

Mr President, yours is a country of huge opportunity, in a continent of dynamic young people who have the potential to play a transformative role in driving Africa’s growth in the years ahead. Together we will make sure the next generation of energetic, ambitious Kenyans can get good, well-paid jobs so they can contribute to Kenya’s long-term prosperity. That’s not just good for Kenya, it’s good for the UK too. And we’ll work with you and with governments across Africa to make sure your young people have the skills that businesses on the continent need to drive economic growth.

This is a partnership for opportunity but it’s also a partnership for our shared security and stability. And today we discussed the work we’re doing together to make both our countries – and the world – more secure. Already, British terrorists and child abusers are in UK jails because of our cooperation. This afternoon we have signed a new compact that will see us expand our joint work on security even further. The UK is no longer just training our own military in Kenya, but training with Kenyans to promote stability in East Africa and beyond and to build the continent’s capacity to overcome its own challenges and deliver its own security. Later today I will see our militaries training together in the techniques to identify and destroy improvised explosive devices. The UK continues to support the commitment of the brave Kenyan soldiers fighting in Somalia against Al Shabaab. And I will announce a new package of funding to support the African Union mission in Somalia.

Mr President, I was glad to hear you call for a transition from peacekeepers to stronger Somali security forces. This is what the UK wants too, and as we work towards this we are leading international efforts to ensure AMISOM has the funding it needs to support its vital battle against terror. We also spoke about the pernicious effects of corruption in Kenya. And I welcome the commitment you have made to drive this vice from your country, and we stand with you in this fight. And today, as you’ve said, we signed an agreement to ensure that any proceeds of corruption in Kenya that end up in the UK will be given back to the Kenyan people and spent for their benefit. I also welcome, Mr President, your commitment to political reconciliation in this country. The UK stands ready to support an inclusive Building Bridges process as you work to further strengthen your democracy and your institutions.

Mr President, as I conclude my visit this week to some of the UK’s most important African partners I have reflected on the role my country can play in partnership with this vibrant continent in the future. As I have said this week, I want to ensure that the UK’s relationship with Kenya and with Africa is more and more about private investment, about doing business and making the most of commercial opportunities together.

Here, as elsewhere in the continent, we are using our aid and our investment partnerships to lift countries out of poverty, spread stability, and create jobs and prosperity for the future. The UK and Kenya are two strong, diverse countries. We are partners in the Commonwealth, and global hubs – open to the world. We thrive because of the entrepreneurship and innovation of our people, the strength of our democracies and our shared values. Our cooperation today makes our people safer, more prosperous and more secure – here in Kenya, and in the UK.

Mr President, I will leave Nairobi excited by the huge opportunities of Kenya and of this continent. And I look forward to working with you in the years ahead for the benefit of both our countries.

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