Data Hub

World Bank, AfDB crackdown shines spotlight on SMEs

w-bank

President Uhuru Kenyatta with World Bank Country Director for Kenya Keith Hansen. PHOTO | PSCU

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • The financial institutions, which are mostly owned and financed by governments, have been keen to curb corruption in their projects, which run into billions of dollars annually.
  • Arising from the huge number of Kenyan firms that have been blacklisted, the AfDB recently revealed plans to hire quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects.

Last November, the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) blacklisted more than 20 Kenyan companies over fraud and quality concerns in projects funded by the multilateral lenders.

The firms were blocked following claims of fraudulent practices for projects they have funded in Kenya and the region.

The financial institutions, which are mostly owned and financed by governments, have been keen to curb corruption in their projects, which run into billions of dollars annually.

The firms include the Africa Development Professional Group, which was debarred for 21 months and will be ineligible to participate in any World Bank-financed projects during the period.

The AfDB on its part had listed blacklisted firms including Aerospace Aviation, Beta Trading Company, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, Eva-Top Agencies, Madujey Global Services, Mactebac Contractors Limited, Techno Brain (Kenya) and Sony Commercial Agencies.

Others are Inotec Co. Limited (Kenya branch office), Sino-Kenya Engineering Group Company Limited, Rockey Africa Limited, Reef Building Systems Limited (Reef), Ultimate Engineering Limited, Express Automation Limited and Kenya Power contractor Chint Electric.

Arising from the huge number of Kenyan firms that have been blacklisted, the AfDB recently revealed plans to hire quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects.

Covid-19 pandemic

As part of its efforts to improve its cooperation with anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, AfDB’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption last year negotiated and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with the Kenyan Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The MoU will serve as framework for collaboration on corruption prevention, training and information sharing,” said AfDB then.

It is not all gloomy, however as World Bank had announced in February that it would finance more than 250,000 small and medium enterprises in Kenya this year, to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funds issued under the global bank’s International Development Association are expected to address financing challenges faced by the sector despite constituting 98 percent of all businesses in Kenya.

The financing will be issued under the Supporting Access to Finance and Enterprise Recovery project and will be facilitated through microfinance banks, savings and credit co-operative society and digital lenders.

[email protected]