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World Bank Promises $40-$50M to Kenya - 2003-02-12


The World Bank has good news for Kenya's new government. A top official of the bank has promised to release millions of dollars to support the government's efforts to revive the country. The official made the announcement at the end of a three-day visit to Kenya.

The World Bank's Vice President for Africa, Callisto Madavo, says he is impressed by the officials he met with from the government of President Mwai Kibaki.

"I was also very struck by the consistency and the coherence in the messages by the various ministerial leaders," he said. "Clearly, people who feel deeply about the direction in which they are going, who have thought about the issues they are addressing even though they are only in government for a very short time."

The Kibaki government came to power in December, promising to revive the economy, create jobs, and eliminate corruption. Its problem is that, to implement this ambitious agenda, it will need money from the international community. And that is where the World Bank comes in.

Mr. Madavo said the bank is likely to release $50 million in budget support in June if the government implements its pledge to tackle corruption.

Mr. Madavo also promised to give financial support to the government's free primary education policy, which started last month.

"We are also prepared to put our money where our mouth is in terms of supporting this issue of free primary education, by processing quickly an emergency operation of about $40-$50 million to support the efforts in the education sector," he said.

The World Bank is just one of many donors that have responded positively to Kenya's change of government. The bank gave minimal aid to Kenya over the last decade because of former President Daniel arap Moi's failure to stamp out corruption.

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