President William Ruto’s Cabinet on Monday 15th January 2024 approved Kenya’s decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a major financial institution led by China. This decision, if ratified, will see Kenya become a member of the bank, joining 109 other countries. President Ruto’s administration views this as a crucial step towards accessing funding for vital infrastructure projects and other productive sectors.

“We believe that joining the AIIB will open up new opportunities for Kenya and contribute to our sustainable economic development,” stated a spokesperson from the President’s office.

The AIIB, established in 2016, has already approved a staggering 252 projects, with an impressive Ksh8 trillion (USD50.47 billion) in funding allocated. The bank’s primary focus is on financing infrastructure projects and fostering sustainable economic growth.

“We are committed to investing in sustainable infrastructure in Asia and beyond, and we are driven by our core values of Lean, Clean, and Green,” emphasized AIIB Vice President and Corporate Secretary Ludger Schuknecht during the bank’s recent Annual Meeting.

This decision comes as President Ruto’s administration has been strengthening its ties with China, securing substantial investments during a recent visit to Beijing. Meanwhile, the administration has also been a significant beneficiary of loans from the World Bank, with a Ksh1.8 trillion loan approved in November 2023.

The move to join the AIIB reflects Kenya’s strategic efforts to diversify its sources of funding for crucial development projects and to strengthen its economic ties globally.