In recent years, there have been a number of media reports about procurement malpractice and misuse of public funds by public officers entrusted with such duties. The reports tend to elicit a lot of public indignation and debate has often centered around who should be held accountable. On its part, the Government will argue that the institutions set up to deal with such malpractice are doing the best that they can. There are many examples of suspension or removal of implicated officials (including top officers) from office, freezing of assets and hefty fines, among others. However, this is unlikely to appease a public which is craving high profile convictions, the main complaint being that only the ‘small fish’ get netted for procurement crimes, with many of the more senior public officers seemingly walking away scot-free, or at worst, with a slap on the wrist.
Our finance and projects lawyers advise on all aspects of financing. We share knowledge and skills in deals involving: lending and borrowing, debt securities, derivatives, funds, portfolios as well as energy, infrastructure, transport matters and other projects.
IKM’s Finance practice, headed by Anne Kinyanjui, has vast experience and industry insight in the specialist areas of finance, enabling us to advise clients from diverse business sectors. Our lawyers act for over 20 commercial banks, a number of which are the top-tier financial institutions in Kenya.
IKM’s Projects practice, headed by Beatrice Nyabira, has substantial experience across a diverse band of undertakings that include public-private partnerships (PPPs), energy (geothermal, hydropower, wind, solar and coal), and social infrastructure (health, housing and transport). Our knowledge base from working with clients across the public and private sectors means that we have a comprehensive understanding of each of the stakeholder’s concerns and are able to structure transactions in a manner that specifically addresses their needs.
Experience has included advising:
- OPIC jointly with DLA Piper, in connection with facilities to be granted to Acorn Holdings Limited which is a leading real estate developer in Kenya for financing 10 mixed-use development projects.
- Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited in a transaction involving real estate financing.
- A top-tier commercial bank in Kenya in the financing of a used aircraft which required a high degree of due diligence over the aircraft and security documentation proceedings.
- East African Breweries Limited as the borrower in connection with the financing of its new brewery in Kisumu.
- Radiant Energy Limited on the financing of two 40 MW solar power projects.
- CDC Group Plc, the lenders, on the financing of a 40 MW solar project in Malindi, Kenya.
- The Kenyan government on the USD500 million procurement of medical equipment for 94 hospitals in all 47 counties in Kenya through a managed equipment services arrangement.
- The sponsors of a USD1.8 billion energy project on the development of a 100 MW wind power plant in Kajiado, Kenya.
- A client in connection with its proposed investments in Mombasa port, Lamu port and the new Lamu industrial city.
- A consortium of investors in connection with a proposed primary healthcare project to be piloted in Makueni County before being scaled-up to all 47 counties in the country using a privately-initiated investment proposal model.
- Ranked Band 1 in Banking & Finance (Chambers & Partners 2019)
- Ranked Tier 1 in Banking & Finance (The Legal 500 2019)
- Ranked Tier 1 in Finance & Corporate (IFLR1000 2019)
- Ranked Tier 1 in Projects & Privatization (The Legal 500 2019)
- Ranked Band 2 in Projects & Energy (Chambers & Partners 2019)
- Ranked in Projects & Finance (IFLR1000)
The high cost of land has often been cited as one of the biggest challenges facing infrastructural development. This is particularly so, where infrastructure development is carried out in phases. Latter phases end up being hit with higher land acquisition costs due to enhanced commerce, habitation and other opportunities resulting from the earlier phases of the investment.
Off the back of the Covid 19 pandemic and increased demands on the ever-limited public purse, Kenya like many other African countries, will be keen to scale up much needed foreign direct investment to boost its economic recovery. As many an investor has cited obstacles to investment, it is opportune time for us as a nation to look at the systemic problems that sometimes make entry into the Kenyan market challenging. Moreso in the case of capital-intensive infrastructure such as hospitals, housing, roads and power, that we so badly need to enable us meet our developmental objectives. It is said that money follows opportunity, but at the same time, opportunity waits for no man. We must be cognisant that opportunities abound in other countries as well and we are effectively in competition for every investment dollar. If we do not address the ease of doing of business in our country, investors will find many other suitors for their capital. It is therefore worth looking at some of the systemic issues that have been blamed for stifling investment.
In the aftermath of the 2007/8 financial crisis, Hugo Chavez the former president of Venezuela famously said that if climate was a bank, they would already have saved it. He was making the point that in the hierarchy of urgent and important global goals, bailing out banks far surpassed climate problems.
County governments play a crucial role in providing and maintaining infrastructure. This is particularly with respect to the public functions that have been constitutionally assigned to the devolved units under the Constitution of Kenya, including county health services, county roads, street lighting, water and sanitation services, amongst others.