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President Kenyatta Unveils New World Bank Group Office Building in Nairobi

Nairobi, December 11, 2013— The World Bank Group has unveiled its new office in Nairobi, which brings together all staff of IFC and the World Bank under one roof.
The state-of-the art office was officially opened today by H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya. Kenyatta lauded the Bank Group’s contribution to development in Kenya, which is celebrating 50 years of independence.
President Kenyatta cut the ribbon on the new building and unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion, witnessed by Makhtar Diop, the Bank’s Vice President for Africa . Diop and Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean , provided opening remarks during the occasion.
The opening ceremonies were hosted by Cheikh Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa , and Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
The new building, jointly owned by the Bank and IFC, brings together the skills and expertise of the World Bank Group in Kenya that will foster greater collaboration and provide better service for the country’s public and private sector clients. It hosts nearly 300 staff working on national, regional and global programs.
The common World Bank Group facilities, which include the latest technology in tele- and videoconferencing, will allow staff to better coordinate the public and private sector expertise and resources of the World Bank, IFC and MIGA, and their services in pursuit of the Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.  
“The World Bank Group’s engagement in Kenya has strengthened substantially, cutting across all major sectors of the economy,” Diop said.   “The footprint of the Bank Group is visible in a wide range of activities that have contributed to Kenya’s growth and transformation.”
“The time is right to show that the World Bank Group supports Kenya’s achievements,” Prosper said. “We are ready to do more so Kenya can enjoy growth led by a competitive economy that provides jobs and opportunities for Kenyans.”
World Bank Group staff based in Nairobi were previously operating from six different locations in the Upper Hill area. The new building also hosts the World Bank’s Global Center for Conflict and Development, the Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia Country Director’s office, and the Regional Controller’s office.
IFC’s office in Nairobi supports activities in Kenya and other Eastern Africa countries, and provides leadership for Eastern and Southern Africa. Additionally, IFC and MIGA, a member of the World Bank Group that promotes foreign direct investment into emerging economies to support economic growth, have a business development partnership. The partnership seeks to leverage complementary products offered by each institution to more effectively advance private sector development in challenging markets.
As of November 30, 2013, the World Bank has a commitment of $4.3 billion in 23 national and six regional projects for Kenya, focused on competitiveness (transport, energy, and water) and vulnerability and resilience (urban, health, and social protection). In addition, the World Bank’s analytical program involves local partners and provides targeted products (blogs, videos, research papers, and just-in-time policy notes) to different audiences.
IFC has a portfolio of investments of $767 million in Kenya through projects in the agribusiness, education, health, finance, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. IFC provided more than $400 million in new investment commitments and mobilization in Kenya during 2013. IFC maintains several advisory services programs in Kenya as part of its regional $65 million in annual program activities.
Since joining the World Bank Group in 1964, Kenya has benefited from close to $8.5 billion in interest-free credits and grants and another $166 million in partial risk guarantees to the government, mostly from IDA. IFC has provided an additional $1.6 billion to a wide range of investments and projects supporting private sector development.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association, which together form the World Bank; IFC; MIGA; and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world.
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