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European Union Commits 40 Billion Shillings to Kenya for Growth

The European Union pledged to give Kenya 40 billion shillings ($459 million) by 2020 to help the East African nation achieve its goal of faster economic growth that benefits the poor.

The funding may rise to as much as 50 billion shillings in the period, which would represent a 10 percent increase from the current level, EU Ambassador to Kenya Lodewijk Briet said today, according to an e-mailed statement. Discussions are under way to decide which projects the funding will support.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, elected in March, has vowed to boost growth in East Africa’s biggest economy to an annual 10 percent, create 1 million new jobs a year and lift 10 million people out of poverty by 2017. The country’s $37 billion economy is forecast by the government to grow 5.8 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2012.

The European Union currently targets its funding to Kenya to help improve crop production and build roads, according to the statement. Kenya is the world’s largest black-tea exporter and it supplies one-third of the flowers traded in Europe.

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