The World Bank has approved $180 million in assistance to Kenya to strengthen the financial health of the Kenya Electricity Generation Company Limited (KenGen) and improve private sector financing in the energy sector of the East African country.
The support is being provided under the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) program, which helps the world’s poorest countries by giving grants to boost their economic growth.
Kenya has been working towards the diversification of its energy mix and the assistance from the World Bank will help to improve its electrification efforts and connect millions of households and businesses.
In August 2017, Mercom reported that the World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) fund of $150 million for Kenya to run the Off-Grid Solar Access Project.
“Affordable and accessible electricity is essential to ensuring that Kenyan businesses remain competitive in the international market, allows women and youth to run their businesses safely late into the night within informal settlements and strengthens citizen contribution into growing Kenya’s economy,” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank’s country director for Kenya, in a media statement.
“This IDA Guarantee will solidify KenGen’s financial position as the company pursues its aspirations towards geothermal development, building energy security for all Kenyans, and becoming a sustainable energy hallmark in Africa,” Mariano Salto, World Bank’s energy economist was quoted as saying.
Kenya has a generation capacity of 1,631 MW of which approximately 70 percent is managed by KenGen. The World Bank project will provide KenGen a long-term loan up to $300 million to refinance its existing commercial loan, enhance credit quality, and promote the sustainable development of renewable energy in Kenya.
In other Kenya-related news, Mercom recently reported that off-grid solar power provider Pawame also raised $2 million in seed funding to increase its footprint in Kenya and M-KOPA Solar, a PayG energy provider for off-grid homes, recently partnered with Mastercard to provide electricity to African homes.
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Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer