Five Kenyan firms have each won $100,000 (Sh8.9 million) from the US government and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) for their role in promoting green energy.
Boma Safi Limited, Kitui Industries Limited, Pfoofy Power & Light Limited, Scode Limited and Sollatek Electronics Kenya Limited won after participating in the latest edition of the Off-Grid Challenge.
The competition is part of President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which seeks to increase access to affordable and cleaner sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is sponsored by GE, United States Africa Development Foundation and USAid.
The five Kenyan firms joined a list of 22 winners from Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania out of nearly 300 entries.
Winners were chosen for demonstrating new business models to deliver sustainable, renewable energy to under-served, marginalised populations.
The competition was launched in 2013, with six winners then drawn from Kenya and Nigeria receiving $100,000 each to fund their projects.
“This challenge taps into expertise on how Africa’s challenges on power could best be solved from an African perspective,” said Jay Ireland, GE Africa’s chief executive, in a statement.
Boma Safi’s winning entry was a proposal to setup five energy hubs in Kenya’s rural regions.