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Kipeto Energy Reaches Financial Close Following the Acquisition by Actis and the African Infrastructure Investment Managers

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Kipeto Energy Ltd has reached financial close following the acquisition by Actis of the respective equity interests of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments.

The project is now funded by equity from Actis (88 per cent) and Kenyan company Craftskills Wind Energy International (12 per cent) alongside senior debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution.

Once operational, Kipeto, located in Kajiado County, as the country’s second largest wind farm, will supply 100MW of clean energy to the national grid.

The Kipeto project was originally conceived by Craftskills, with support from General Electric. AIIM and IFC InfraVentures co-developed the project with Craftskills from 2014 until early 2018, executing a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power in 2016.

The project is now preparing for the construction of 60 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines and a 17km (220KV) transmission line to carry the power to Isinya substation in Kajiado County, providing power to the equivalent of approximately 40,000 homes in the region.

It is anticipated that more than 400 job opportunities will be created during the construction phase of the project and an additional 70 permanent jobs during the operational phase. The project is expected to reach commercial operation in 2020.

“GE is incredibly proud to be a part of this exciting endeavor. The Kipeto project is an important step forward in providing affordable, reliable clean energy to the region, and meeting Kenya’s renewable energy goals. We look forward to working with our partners on the journey for years to come,” Peter Wells, GE’s Onshore Wind Regional Director for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, said.

Actis, IFC, AIIM and Craftskills worked with specialist consultants during both the planning and development stages of the project to undertake a series of environmental assessments and impact studies.

“We would like to thank the local community for their support of this project from the outset. We have leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners, which is a first for any project of this kind in Kenya, and we’re constructing new houses for the families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone, so local buy-in has been a vital component,’’ Dr. Kenneth Namunje, Director of Craftskills and Chairman and Director of Kipeto Energy Limited, said.

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With support from USAID Power Africa, Kipeto has developed and initiated a Biodiversity Action Plan, which is designed around the international best practice outlined in the IFC environmental performance standards.

“We are delighted to have achieved what we set out to do in co-developing the project and mobilizing development-stage financing for the project’s implementation. We have a long history with Actis which gives us complete confidence in their ability to guide the company through its next stage of growth and complete the project to the high standards established during the development phase of the project,” added Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

OPIC is the principal lender to the project. The African Trade Insurance Agency will provide a 10-year standby revolving and on-demand insurance cover to protect the project against the risk of payment delays by the national off-taker.

“AIIM is proud to have laid the ground work for the Kipeto Wind Energy Project, which will be the second largest wind power project in Kenya, and to have partnered successfully with local developers and stakeholders in making an important contribution to the country’s sustainable economic development,” said Jurie Swart, CEO AIIM.

The wind turbines will be provided by GE Renewable Energy who will also provide operations and maintenance services for the project, while China Machinery Engineering Corporation will be providing Engineering, Procurement and Construction services. In addition, Haidco are construction equipment suppliers for the project, as well as building partners for the new community housing.

“We thank IFC and AIIM for such a well-managed period of transition. We are excited about taking the Kipeto project forward and we are committed to maintaining the highest level of standards drawing on our 70 years of investing responsibly in Africa. The project will not only contribute significantly to the Government’s Vision 2030 agenda but will also have a positive impact on the local community through the creation of jobs and provision of over 80 houses,” said Lisa Pinsley, Director in the energy business at Actis.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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