DFC announces over $250 million in new investments in Kenya's e-mobility and digital connectivity

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May 28, 2024
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2 min read
money
  • The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a new $250 million financing package for digital connectivity and e-mobility in Kenya.
  • The new DFC financing package was unveiled during President William Ruto's State Visit to Washington in May 2024.
  • DFC made new investments in M-KOPA, BasiGo, Mogo Auto, Roam Electric, and Pezesha Africa Limited via loans and grants.

M-KOPA, a Nairobi-based digital financing company that serves underbanked Africans, has received a $51 million loan from DFC to boost digital connectivity across the country and provide underserved communities with affordable smartphones. CEO Scott Nathan and M-KOPA Co-Founder and CEO Jesse Moore ceremonially signed the commitment.

According to DFC, M-KOPA has already produced over 1 million smartphones locally and plans to expand its local production facility with support from DFC and the Kenyan government.

In addition, DFC provided a $10 million loan to Mogo Auto Kenya and BasiGo to advance e-mobility in Kenya and support President Ruto's Africa Green Industrialisation Initiative. Mogo Kenya is a financial institution that specialises in used vehicle loans in Kenya, logbook loans, and boda boda (motorcycle) loans. BasiGo, on the other hand, is a Kenyan electric bus manufacturer that recently launched its production line in Kenya.

Roam Electric also received a $10 million loan from DFC to assist with the design and development of electric motorcycles and buses and charging stations in Kenya.

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Pezesha, a digital financial enabler for SMEs, also received a $500,000 Technical Assistance grant to leverage advanced computing technologies for improved credit scoring algorithms.

These announcements came after Kenya's presidential State Visit, during which President Ruto was welcomed by President Biden to celebrate and deepen ties between the two countries, marking 60 years of official US-Kenya partnership, according to a US government report, 'FACT SHEET: Kenya State Visit to the United States.'

The report highlighting the two countries' partnerships mentioned key investments and support in Kenya, such as its digital and renewable energy sectors. Aside from the new DFC investments, Google and Microsoft have announced investments in the country's digital connectivity, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data centres. 

The investments outlined in the US government report were also announced by tech titans, with Microsoft and G42 partnering to build a data centre campus in Kenya powered by renewable geothermal energy and water conservation technology, with an initial investment of up to $1 billion. Other AI and internet connectivity projects are also part of the Microsoft initiative.

Google also announced a fibre optic project, cybersecurity assistance, and AI development in Kenya. According to Google, the Umoja fibre optic cable project is the first to directly connect Africa and Australia. 

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