SymbioCity conference in Kenya

by Richard Shaw on November 26, 2012

On the 20th and 21st November I attended a conference organised by the Swedish Trade Council in Nairobi and spoke about project finance on the second day. The conference was held at the Laico Regency Hotel, it was very well organised and attended and the talks very interesting.

Mr Björn Häggmark, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi and Mr Henrik Danielsson, the Trade Commissioner at the Swedish Trade Council in Nairobi opened the conference. Rinah Ondego Akoto, Executive Officer of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, gave a fascinating talk about Kenya’s vision and the large infrastructure projects that they had either already embarked on or have planned for the coming two decades. If Kenya can implement what they have set out to do, they really will be in a very strong position in 2030 and will earn a place as one of the ‘African Lions’! Professor Ulf Ranhagen, an advisor to Sweco, spoke about the SymbioCity concept, a truly inspiring talk and a truly inspiring concept!

Kisumu town

A number of workshops were held, focusing on the development of Lamu port, the Nairobi rail road project and Kisumu town that sought to map out a way of implementing the SymbioCity concept and involve all relevant stakeholders in doing so.

On the second day of the conference, I spoke about project finance, the role that private investors can play and project finance’s application in the Kenyan context, particularly in financing large scale infrastructure projects. I was joined by Mr Christopher Onajin, Program Manager, Loans and Guarantees at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), who spoke about Swedish Loans and Guarantees and how they could be used in promoting private investment In development. I was also joined by Ms Malin Tegnér, Senior Underwriter, EKN at The Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board, who spoke about opportunities and ways to finance SymbioCity projects.

Well done and thank you to the Swedish Trade Council in Nairobi for organising such a successful conference!

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