| NAIROBI, March 31
NAIROBI, March 31 Kenya aims to issue its first
'green' bond this year, the initiative's backers said on Friday,
bolstering the nation's reputation for financial innovation
after the government launched the world's first mobile phone
bond earlier this month.
The proceeds from so-called green bonds help finance
projects in the renewable energy, energy-efficiency, green
transport and wastewater treatment sectors.
France and Poland both issued green bonds in the last four
months, becoming the first nations to venture into territory
previously dominated by development banks and companies.
"I believe we will have the first green bond issued this
year," said Lamin Manjang, chairman of the Kenya Bankers
Association (KBA), which is spearheading the green finance
He did not say who would issue the bond or its potential
size. Kenya's first green bond is likely to be issued privately.
Plans for a green sovereign issue by Kenya will follow after
the first issue under the KBA initiative, Central Bank Governor
Patrick Njoroge told Reuters earlier this month.
On Friday during the launch of the green bond programme, he
repeated his support.
"This definitely has legs. This will see the light of day,"
Nigeria has unveiled plans to launch a local currency green
bond in April.
The green bond issue will bolster Kenya's reputation as a
financial innovator after the government launched M-Akiba, the
world's first bond sold exclusively over mobile phones, last
The mobile phone bond aims to tap a pool of small investors,
offering them a bond for as little as 3,000 shillings. The
initial offering is 150 million shillings ($1.46 million).
Finance Minister Henry Rotich said the offer had already hit
more than half of its target within a week. Nearly 68,400 mobile
phone users have invested 79 million shillings.
Habil Olaka, chief executive officer of Kenya Bankers
Association, said the green bond would build on M-Akiba's
"We are seeing the success of M-Akiba, (and) us leveraging
on it," he said.
($1 = 102.7300 Kenyan shillings)
(Editing by Katharine Houreld and Toby Davis)