Nairobi, March 15, 2018
– IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched the Kenya Small and Medium Enterprise Road Construction Project. The three-year, $1.2 million project, funded by IFC and Japan, will help build capacities of entrepreneurs in Kenya, so they can be better placed to bid to participate in road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance.
The program will train SMEs on business and contracts management in the roads sector. IFC has found that access to finance is a key constraint for smaller businesses looking to take on large public projects. IFC will work with the financial sector to explore options, such as leasing of construction equipment, and products that can increase lending to SMEs. Networking and sector promotion events will enable entrepreneurs to meet buyers and other players in the construction and roads sector.
Manuel Moses, IFC’s Country Manager for Kenya, said, “Improving roads is a priority for the Kenyan government, while IFC puts a strategic emphasis on bridging the infrastructure gap and supporting smaller businesses. As the new constitution devolves more responsibility for road construction to local governments, IFC is developing new ways to create structures and mechanisms that allow a wider range of businesses to gain access to infrastructure related contracts.”
Roads carry more than 60 percent of all freight in Kenya. Many of the country’ roads are unpaved or in poor condition. Kenya’s construction sector is estimated to employ 1.5 million people. The SME Road Construction Project aims to create more employment opportunities for women, who account for 3% of skilled and semi-skilled workforce in construction.
Boosting Kenya’s road network is part of IFC’s strategy to support broader development goals in the country, through key sector such as infrastructure, agriculture, health and education.
IFC - a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit