AfDB blacklists Kenyan firm over tender fraud

Akinwumi Adesina

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday banned Kenya-based civil engineering firm, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited, from participating in the lender’s financed projects for three years after it was found to have engaged in tender malpractices in a Sh7 billion irrigation project.

The regional bank said an investigation by its office of integrity and anti-corruption established that the company engaged in fraudulent practices during one of its tenders for a small-scale irrigation and value addition project in Kenya.


The bank’s decision means that Global Interjapan has been legally barred from bidding for its tenders or participating in any of its financed projects within the 36-month period, effective August 24, 2020.

“Additionally, the debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group,” AfDB said on Tuesday.

AfDB did not, however, disclose particulars of the “fraudulent practices” or whether they affected implementation of the irrigation project, whose aim was to reduce poverty in 11 Kenyan counties.

“At the expiry of the debarment period, Global Interjapan (Kenya) Limited will only be eligible to participate in Bank Group-financed projects on condition that it implements an integrity compliance programme consistent with the Bank’s guidelines,” it stated.

The debarment of the firm comes just months after the pan-African lender banned four Nigerian companies over similar allegations of fraudulent and collusive practices during a bid for the supply of water meters, automatic meters and house connection materials in August 2020.

Conceived in 2015, the small-scale irrigation and value addition project was aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, income and food security among the residents of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Tana River, Bomet, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua, Murang'a, Kajiado and Nyeri counties.

According to AfDB’s project appraisal report last year, the venture’s main components were enhancing irrigation infrastructure, developing water resources, improving access to markets, strengthening value chains and strengthening institutional capacity.

“The project will be implemented over a period of 6 years (2015-2021),” the bank stated.

The Sh7 billion project was co-financed through a loan from AfDB, a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the government’s contribution.