USAID, GE partner with Kenyan bank to finance health programme - The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and General Electric (GE), in conjunction with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Tuesday announced a new partnership that will make up to US$ 10 million in local financing available to small- and medium-enterprises in the country.
The partnership deal, sealed in Nairobi, seeks to enhance the development of private health facilities, including small clinics, diagnostic centres and hospitals in Kenya.
The first of its kind transaction, unveiled in a ceremony at the Nairobi Serena Hotel, was designed in response to the lack of local credit for health facilities in Kenya to purchase much-needed equipment in response to increasing demand for medical and diagnostic imaging services in the private sector.
The risk-sharing agreement between USAID and Kenya Commercial Bank will allow KCB to take additional lending risks for clients in the health sector seeking to purchase GE equipment.
“As we celebrate 50 years of partnership between Kenya and the United States, the US Government is proud to facilitate private sector investment in development in Kenya for the benefit of the Kenyan people and the American people,” said US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec.
The agreement with Kenya Commercial Bank specifically covers access to financing for a range of GE Healthcare equipment, manufactured globally, including at several US locations.
The partnership marks the first time that a Development Credit Authority facility was established directly with the support of a multinational company.
“USAID’s new partnership with GE falls in line with the Agency’s shift towards engaging and leveraging the private sector, and embracing a new model of development that can be replicated across sectors and geographies,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.
Under the scheme, qualifying healthcare providers will have the opportunity to access more favorable financing through improved risk-sharing, training and services.
Advantages include longer loan terms, competitive interest rates and small upfront capital investments.
“GE is proud to partner with USAID and the Kenya Commercial Bank in the development of an innovative financing solution, launched globally for the first time here in Kenya, and aimed at increasing access to affordable and quality healthcare,' said Jay Ireland, President and CEO, GE Africa.
'As the Government of Kenya seeks to build a strong and diversified health care infrastructure, GE is committed to working with both public and private sector partners alike through the localization of its capabilities and medical technologies to support expansion of essential health services, as outlined in its Vision 2030 plan,” said the CEO.
USAID/Kenya’s technical assistance programming, including the Financial Inclusion for Rural Microenterprises and Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector, will support KCB and borrowers under the programme to maximize its development impact.
“Kenya Commercial Bank has been partnering with USAID to expand access to financing in Kenya for several years now. We are proud to offer this important loan product to private service providers in Kenya’s health industry,” said Kenya Commercial bank CEO Joshua Oigara.