International Finance Corporation (IFC) is implementing a six-year project to help small firms in Kenya win contracts in the oil, gas and other sectors.
The funding for the project dubbed Kenya Local Economic Development Project (LED-Kenya) started in September last year but IFC made the disclosure this month without indicating the amount it will spend in the initiative.
IFC says the project will run up to June 2023 with a focus on strengthening local firms’ capacity and the business environment in communities impacted by oil, gas, mining and infrastructure investments in Kenya.
This coincides with the period Kenya is moving closer to joining the league of oil exporting countries by 2023.
The project is split into three phases with the first one being to “enhance opportunities for local businesses to participate in the supply chains of multinational firms by improving access to information along with improving local firm capacity to meet standards and international requirements.”
The second component involves creation of different market opportunities for local businesses and boosts their ability to compete in new markets such as agricultural and livestock value chains as well as renewable energy.
“This will include a focus on supporting women and youth entrepreneurship, capacity building, and facilitating access to finance with local financial institutions,” says IFC.
The project is also keen on enhancing corporate governance of local boards and advisory councils. IFC has increased its business advisory projects in Kenya, adding to its traditional role of providing debt and equity funding to local firms.
The global financier invested an additional Sh13.4 billion in Kenyan companies in the year ended June, taking its stock of local capital commitment to Sh305 billion.