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AfDB tightens Kenya projects scrutiny amid graft claims


African Development Bank headquarters. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kenyan firms bidding for the multibillion-shilling projects funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) are set to face more scrutiny as the lender moves to seal graft loopholes.

AfDB plans to hire quality assurance experts to enable greater transparency and oversight of its funded projects in the wake of financial scandals.

The lender recently banned nearly a dozen Kenyan firms over fraudulent practices, according to the bank.

“Bank’s portfolio in the region is facing a number of challenges and requires close monitoring,” said AfDB in an internal document seen by the Business Daily.

“…The consultant will participate in country/regional meetings to review project and portfolio related reports, including but not limited to project concept notes, project appraisal reports, project completion reports, country portfolio performance reviews reports”

The bank said the consultants will also review and edit operations, strategy, and policy related proposals to ensure “alignment with Bank strategy objectives, quality standards, readiness and compliance with Bank policies.”

The move to bring on board consultants is seen as meant to enable the bank have a tight leash around projects it finances.

“(They will) assist in the identification of problems related to the Bank's portfolio performance and service delivery, and promptly undertake appropriate action.”

Some of the recently banned firms include Sinotec, Rockey Africa Limited, and its affiliates including Aerospace Aviation, Eva-Top Agencies, Sony Commercial Agencies, Beta Trading Company, and Madujey Global Services.

Others are Express Automation Limited, Kenya Power contractor Chint Electric, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, Techno Brain (Kenya) Limited, and its United Arab Emirates(UAE)-based parent company Techno Brain Global FZ-LLC.

A ban from the AfDB over fraud concerns may attract similar actions from other multilateral development banks including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank.

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.

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