UK aid to support Kenya’s clean energy quest

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The UK Government through InfraCo Africa, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, is investing Ksh. 220 million (US$2.2m) in the development of two solar plants in Samburu and Transmara.

The initiative is part of the UK’s Department for International Development’s Transforming Energy Access programme which has so far leveraged Ksh. 35 trillion ($359 million) worth of investment in clean energy from both public and private investors.

Speaking at an event in London last week, the UK’s Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, announced the commitment by InfraCo Africa to develop the solar plants that will go a long way in providing Kenyans with clean, affordable energy.

“Transforming Energy Access is using the UK’s expertise in technology and finance to provide power for people across Africa and tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges, climate change.  The UK government’s investment in clean energy and waste reduction for people and businesses will help millions of people across Africa. It’s a win for the developing world and a win for the UK,” Minister Baldwin said.

In 2018, the Government of Kenya reaffirmed its intention to achieve Universal Electricity Access by 2022 and to continue developing the power sector: including the strategic use of on-grid, off-grid and small-scale solutions. The Samburu and Transmara projects will directly contribute to achieving this goal.

In another bid to support Kenya’s development goals, the United Kingdom, in an unrelated incident, has issued a call for proposals for a Business Innovation Challenge, under its new four-year Kenya catalytic jobs fund.

The challenge is seeking proposals from local enterprises, in the agriculture, manufacturing and informal sectors that are developing innovative solutions to create jobs for Kenya’s youth. If successful, five applicants will receive grant funding and technical assistance worth up to Ksh. 13million (£100,000) each to support their cause.

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