China-led AIIB adds Kenya, Papua New Guinea as latest members

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Wednesday it had approved applications from Kenya and Papua New Guinea to join the bank, bringing the total membership to 86.

Established by China to fund infrastructure projects across Asia, the AIIB opened for business in January 2016 with 57 founding member countries and US$100bn in committed capital.

"We're very happy to welcome Papua New Guinea and Kenya as prospective members of the AIIB," Danny Alexander, the bank's Vice President and Corporate Secretary, said.

"AIIB now has 86 approved members from six continents. This shows a strong commitment to promoting infrastructure development through rules-based multilateral cooperation with high standards of governance," Alexander said.

The two prospective members will officially join the once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit their first installment of capital with the bank, the AIIB said.

Kenya is the sixth African country to join the Beijing-based bank, with Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Africa and Sudan having been previously approved.

Although the bank was mainly established to fill the huge infrastructure gap in Asia, its charter allows investment in projects outside the region as long as they benefit Asian countries.

The AIIB’s first loan to Africa, announced in September last year, consists of US$210m in debt financing for 11 solar power projects in Egypt.

In February, the Islamic Development Bank said it would join forces with the AIIB to finance projects in Africa and other developing countries.

The AIIB has so far approved loans worth US$4.52bn for a total of 26 projects, with India receiving more than a quarter of the total investment.

China is the largest shareholder in the AIIB, followed by India, Russia, Germany and South Korea. The United States and Japan remain the only two major countries that have not joined the bank.

Source: GB Times

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