By Dipo Olowookere
On Monday, Kenya cross-listed its first green bond on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at a ceremony witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was honoured with ringing of the bell to start the trading day.
Mr Kenyatta was in London alongside other African leaders to attend the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Last week, the Sh4 billion bond issued by British property developer, Acorn Holdings, was listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Acorn Holdings, which has its base in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, plans to use proceeds from the debt instrument for eco-friendly hostels for 50,000 university students under the Qwetu brand.
Speaking at the listing yesterday, President Kenyatta said green bonds provide a great opportunity for African countries as well as those from the Caribbean and the Pacific region, which are at great risk from the effects of climate change, to access large-scale capital for sustainable growth.
He commended LSE for setting up a dedicated green bond segment in response to the global need for climate smart infrastructure, noting that the exchange has so far admitted over 200 bonds from across the world, raising over £33 billion worth of capital for sustainable development.
Mr Kenyatta urged the United Kingdom investors to use Kenya as a gateway to investing in Africa and as a bridge to the continent’s emerging single market of more than 1.2 billion people under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“Kenya is one of the top ten fastest growing economies on the continent and also one of the most pro-business nations in Africa,” he said.
“There is no better place to appreciate the realities of global economic activity and investment trends than this trading floor,” President Kenyatta said.
“I invite the LSE to continue working with Kenya towards achieving this goal,” he added.
Additional information from Business Daily
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