On Thursday night, innovators working to harness Kenyan creativity, entrepreneurs and impact investors who have the shared aim of realising the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), came together to celebrate CDC’s 70th anniversary at an event hosted by the British High Commission in Nairobi.
Established in 1948 as the Colonial Development Corporation by the Overseas Resources Development Act (1948) with the mission to ‘do good without losing money’, one of CDC’s early projects in Kenya was helping to establish Kenya’s tea industry through their investment in the Kenya Tea Development Authority.
Guests heard from British development finance institution CDC’s Chief Executive Nick O’Donohoe, who recently attended the launch of London Stock Exchange’s Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report, and CDC Non-Executive Director Dolika Banda, who is also CEO of African Risk Capacity Insurance Ltd and has held Non-Executive Director positions at Ecobank Transnational and the UK Department for International Development’s Financial Sector Deepening Africa programme.
They highlighted the many lives and institutions CDC have invested in throughout Kenya and the wider East African region over the last 70 years.
UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey told his guests that “this is a time to celebrate those that are forging positive paths for Kenya.”
Tweeting after the event, he added: “Now is the time to recommit to supporting the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment that drives the development of this great country of Kenya.”
Among the other organisations represented were Sanergy whose mission is to “make hygienic sanitation affordable and accessible in urban slums for everyone, forever” and independent global steering group GSG.
The evening also marked a return to the Kenyan capital for Nick Dyer, who is the Director General for Economic Development and International and also Acting Director General, Policy, Research and Humanitarian at the Department for International Development (DfID). Previously, he was DfID’s Senior Economic Adviser East Africa, Nairobi from 1998 to 2002.
Sharing her own thoughts on the event, DfID Kenya head Sarah Montgomery referenced the recent terrorist attack in Nairobi saying: “After the events of last Tuesday, there was no better time to show our solidarity and re-commit to our partnership with Kenya.”