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REGIONSMIDDLEEAST&AFRICA


THE NAIROBI RAILWAY CITY PROJECT MOVES FORWARD AS THE GOVERNMENT ISSUES A TENDER FOR A MASTER DEVELOPER


Nairobineeds investors


Algeria to join the EBRD


The shareholders of the European Bank for Reconstructionand Development (EBRD) have approved Algeria’s bid to become the group’s 70thmember. After meeting pre-membership requirements, Algeria will join as a full member. Jürgen Rigterink, acting


president of the EBRD, said:“We are very proud and happy to welcome Algeria as our latest member. I look forward to start working in the country as soon as a final decision by our shareholders is taken.” Algeria will join the bank’s


southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) group, alongside neighbours Morocco, Tunisia and Libya, which are already EBRD members. Other SEMED members are


Gettting things moving: Kenya’s government hopes the investment will help create more than 200,000 jobs


The Kenyan government has opened bids for the construction of Nairobi Railway City, a large mixed-used development expected to expand and transformNairobi’s central business district. Built on 425 acres surrounding


Nairobi Railway Station, the project will be completed in three phases over the course of the next 20 years. The Kenyan government is


seeking a master developer, as well as developers for the master plan’s specific precincts, with an initial focus on basic infrastructure. Infrastructure costs are


expected to reach 27.9bn Kenyan shillings ($250m). By far, the largest chunk of infrastructure costs is the expected 17.6bn shillings needed to move existing above-ground railway tracks underground, followed by water supply and roadworks. Eleven specific precincts will be


developed on top of the basic infrastructure, including a redeveloped central station, a conference and exhibition centre, a government office area, an international office area, an R&D zone anchored by an expansion of the Technical University of Kenya, a high-tech industrial zone, and a commercial street.


68 Upon completion, the


development is expected to create more than 200,000 jobs and house 28,000 residents, and it will more than double the size of Nairobi’s central business district. Nairobi Railway City is not


Kenya’s first mega-project, with its scale and ambition recalling the even larger Konza Technopolis, a $14.5bn city of 200,000 residents being built from scratch 64km south-east of Nairobi. Konza Technopolis has struggled to live up to its ambitious targets, initially aiming to attract 20,000 residents by 2020 but now expecting that even basic infrastructure will not be complete until 2022. Nairobi Railway City may avoid


the delays that have plagued Konza Technopolis, with its emphasis on university ties and high-tech industry targeting many of the same economic benefits of Konza but on a smaller scale and in a prime location in central Nairobi. Interested investors must


respond to the government’s tender by August 20, and must be able to demonstrate prior experience financing and developing large infrastructure projects similar to Nairobi Railway City. ■ JACKCONWAY


Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and theWest Bank and Gaza. In total, the EBRD has invested more than Ð12bn ($14.3bn) in 260 projects across the SEMED region, covering natural resources, financial institutions, agribusiness, manufacturing, services and infrastructure projects.■ JACKCONWAY


Six-yearVC highforAfrica


Venture capital (VC) investment in Africa has surged in the last six years, the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) reports. VC firms invested a record


$1.4bn into African start-ups last year (compared with $0.4bn in 2014), while the number of deals reached a six-year high of 139. The AVCA report on African VC


deal activity between 2014 and 2019 was published on June 24. Fintech and information tech-


nology were the leading start-up segments, both attracting 19% of the 613 VC deals recorded in the six-year period, followed by consumer discre- tionary (18%) and industrials (12%). Financial services was the lead-


ing sector for greenfield foreign investors during the period, with 668 projects announced across the continent, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.■ ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2020


$1.4BN


TOTALINVESTEDBY VCFIRMSINAFRICAN START-UPSLASTYEAR


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