Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries) invested US$32 million in Kenya last year and plans to further increase financing to local enterprises seeking growth support this year.
Norfund, owned and funded by the Norwegian Government, helps build sustainable businesses that would not otherwise be developed because of the high risks involved by providing equity and other risk capital in developing countries.
The Norwegian Development Finance Institution has a portfolio of $372 million invested in Kenya across various sectors of the economy and invested $32 million in the country in 2022.
Profitable local enterprises seeking to expand their operations and market in Kenya will enjoy funding access and business development support from Norfund as part of the institution’s commitment to deepening its local presence.
As part of the commitment to grow its investments in Kenya, Norfund Global CEO Tellef Thorleifsson is expected in the country later this month to witness the organisation’s new financing sign-up with several local enterprises.
Speaking when he confirmed Norfund’s commitment to continue investing in the region, Norfund Regional Director William Nyaoke said the development finance institution with investment interests in Equity Bank, D-light, Ascent Capital, and Marginpar, among others, will support profitable enterprises with a potential to contribute to economic and social development.
The development finance institution’s mandate, he said, is to assist in building sustainable businesses and industries in developing countries like Kenya by providing capital in renewable energy, financial inclusion, green infrastructure, and scalable investments, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“In Kenya and beyond, Norfund contributes to economic and social development by helping to build sustainable businesses that would not otherwise access expansion capital because of the high levels of risk involved,” Nyaoke said. He added, “Our investees contribute to economic and social development through the direct and indirect jobs they create the goods and services they offer and the taxes they pay, and we are confident that the recent $32 million outlay in 2022 will have positive ripple effects in Kenya.”
From its Nairobi base, Norfund East Africa handles Norfund’s existing and new regional investments with a particular focus on Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Norfund can also invest in other countries in Eastern Africa, like Somalia and South Sudan, in partnership with other investors and funds. In 2022, Norfund committed $75 million across East Africa.
Norfund manages to mitigate its operating risks through market insights, local presence, and portfolio diversification and actively maintains a diversified portfolio of countries, instruments, currencies and sectors, thereby reducing the impact of adverse events in one or more markets.