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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged USD78 million (Ksh7.8 billion) to four companies in Kenya and the wider East-African region to advance their services.

Among the companies that will benefit include Telkom Kenya, BCS Group, the Medical Credit Fund and the Novastar II.

The loans will be disbursed in Kenyan Shillings, to minimize the risk of currency volatility for the Bank’s counterparts.

Telkom Kenya will receive EUR 35 million (Ksh4.1 billion) to increase its 3G and 4G coverage and invest in its Fibre-To-The-Building network.

On the other hand, BCS Group will benefit from a USD 18 million (Ksh1.8 billion) loan to fund the deployment of fibre optic networks throughout Eastern and Central Africa, including Zambia and Uganda, as well as bordering towns in DRC, where broadband access is limited.

The Medical Credit Fund will receive USD 5 million (Ksh500 million) to invest in small players in the healthcare sectors, such as clinics, pharmacies, diagnostics centres and hospitals, so they can provide quality healthcare in undeserved region.

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The bank will invest USD 15 million in the “Novastar II” venture capital impact fund, which to back early-stage businesses. Novastar partners with entrepreneurs to actualize ideas  and multiply their impact.

The EIB’s Vice President Ambroise Fayolle says that the projects will propel the Kenyan and African economy forward.

“This financing will benefit strategic initiatives by private sector players, who will be the key to propelling the Kenyan and African economy forward. Our backing will help to provide thousands of people with improved access to quality healthcare, and potentially millions of people with access to data networks, which nowadays is a basic condition for doing business in a connected world,” says Fayolle.

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