Europe to help connect more households to Kenya’s power grid

Hundreds of thousands of households around Kenya can look forward to being connected for the first time to the country#39;s national electricity grid, thanks to a deal signed today between the Government and European banks and development organisations. The new agreement will enable Kenya Power to connect many more ordinary households in 32 counties of Kenya to the national electricity network, using European bank soft loans and development funds to support the country#39;s Last Mile Connectivity initiative.

The total financial package is worth about 20 billion shillings (180 million Euros) and was put together by the European Union (EU), the French Development Agency (AFD) and European Investment Bank (EIB). It includes soft loans from AFD (90 million Euros) and the EIB (60 million Euros), together with a grant (30 million Euros) from the EU.

EU Ambassador Stefano Dejak, EIB Vice-President Pim Van Ballekom and France#39;s Ambassador Antoine Sivan were present at the Treasury where the deal was signed between Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury Henry Rotich, the AFD#39;s Regional Director Bruno Deprince, and the EIB#39;s Vice-President.

The Last Mile Connectivity initiative is a vital part of Kenya#39;s development, said Ambassador Dejak. It helps ensure that the national power grid reaches as many households as possible, so that ordinary Kenyan people have direct access to cheaper and more reliable supplies of electricity. The necessary investments aren#39;t always commercially attractive, which is why the European Union has decided to support them with a major grant.

Ambassador Sivan acknowledged the ongoing revolution in the field of access to electricity in Kenyardquo;. He noted that:The efforts of the Kenyan Government have led to an unprecedented number of new citizens accessing electricity each year. Kenya is now an example for the countries of the region. We are proud to have been supporting the Kenyan authorities along this exciting journey, and we are looking forward to continuing doing so.rdquo;

Kenya is increasingly becoming a hub for the region on many levels and we as a Bank must look at this from a very basic point of view, namely that there is a young and growing population with enormous potential, and that you need investments to support that momentum.rdquo; said EIB Vice-President Van Ballekom. He also mentioned that Thanks to today’s signature nearly 300.000 Kenyan households will soon be connected to the electricity grid, a basic condition for further economic growth.rdquo;

It is estimated that the European-funded work will support around 300000 new connections. The Government#39;s ultimate aim is for practically all Kenyan households to have access to electricity. The European-funded work will benefit households in 32 counties, where AFD has financed extensions of the grid to which many people live nearby but aren#39;t connected. Most of the counties that aren#39;t covered are those where the national grid has more limited reach, mainly in the sparsely-populated northern and eastern areas of the country, for which the Government is promoting mini-grids and off-grid electricity access solutions under different programmes.

EU Delegation to Kenya.