Leverage the Use of Mobile Phones to Resolve Challenges – Margaret Kenyatta

Rwanda and Uganda are the first East African countries to become members of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), link a leading development finance institution for infrastructure projects in Africa.

Rwanda, which signed the Corporation’s instrument of accession and acceptance of membership on 4 November and Uganda, which signed on 6 November bring the Corporation’s total members to 13. AFC’s other members are: Cape Verde; Chad; Côte d’Ivoire; Gabon; the Gambia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Liberia; Nigeria and Sierra-Leone.

AFC says the accession of these countries marks a significant milestone in its mission to address Africa’s pressing infrastructure needs and build the foundations for robust economic development across the continent.

To date the Corporation has invested US$2.6 billion in projects across 24 African countries and in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.

Andrew Alli, CEO of AFC, commented on the announcement: “By improving the infrastructure of these fast-emerging East African economies we hope to facilitate closer intraregional trade links, a goal that can only be achieved if the adequate transport, telecommunications networks and power supply are in place. This is where AFC steps in, and we are excited by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

“Lack of essential infrastructure remains a critical constraint across Africa; for example, over 620 million people do not have access to reliable electricity. AFC works closely with both public and private institutions to develop innovative financing solutions for large scale infrastructure projects in Africa and oversees the whole project cycle, from concept to completion.”

Uganda and Rwanda are forecast to maintain positive growth rates over the coming years, with the IMF predicting 5.6% and 7% GDP growth in 2015 respectively. Rwanda’s pivotal geographical location at the intersection between East and South has made it a commercial centre bridging the two regions.

Improving the quality of infrastructure is a priority for the governments of these countries. The government of Uganda, for example, plans to implement an US $11 billion program over the next ten years utilizing both the public and private sector, to upgrade the country’s power and transport infrastructure in particular.


Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, stated that “Uganda is pleased to be one of the first East African Countries to become Members of African Finance Corporation (AFC). AFC is bringing innovation to the development and financing of infrastructure on the continent. In line with the EAC’s strategy of ensuring that Partner States’ provide basic infrastructure as one of the Operational Principles of the Community (Article 7 (b)); we are looking forward to stronger presence of AFC in the East African region and particularly in Uganda”

Hon. Kasaija added that Uganda’s partnership with AFC will go a long way in helping the Government to attain the Uganda’s Vision 2040 Strategy of “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years.”

The Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Claver Gatete, commented on Rwanda joining AFC: “I am delighted to officially announce Rwanda as the first East African member country of the Africa Finance Corporation, a development institution well known for its capability of providing innovative financing solutions to large infrastructure projects on the continent.”

As one of largest financers and developers of infrastructure in Africa, AFC is perfectly placed to help improve the quality of East Africa’s infrastructure, enabling the region to capitalize on its strategic position and strong growth prospects.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has told Kenyans to take advantage of the high concentration of mobile telephones in the country to address some of the most pressing challenges in health and agriculture.

She said Kenya is blessed to have one of the largest concentration of mobile telephones across the world and this technological opportunity should be used to resolve the various challenges facing respective communities in the villages.

The First lady said the services and location of the mobile clinics that the Beyond Zero Campaign has been distributing across the counties can be easily accessed and utilized if advertised through mobile telephone messages using local languages.

“Similarly, viagra farmers can be educated through positive telephone messages on emerging technologies including best value-addition practices, see where to access markets and how to reduce the high levels of post harvest losses.”

“Mobile telephone messages can also be used to alert people on emergencies and caution on how to avoid life-threatening hazards like those being caused by the current El-Nino rains, Mrs Kenyatta said.

The First Lady was on Wednesday speaking at Nyamaiya Stadium in Kenya when she handed over the 35 fully kitted Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic to the County leadership.

She called on the County Government to explore ways to locally process Nyamira’s enormous farm produce so that the benefits of value addition can end up with the farmers.

The First Lady appreciated the various projects initiated in the county aimed at improving health facilities and services for the people of Nyamira including the construction of new facilities, the rehabilitation of old ones, the acquisition of critical equipment like dialysis machines and setting up CT scan imaging services.

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