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Kenya to tap Sh9.3bn AfDB energy funding


A Kenya Power employee inspects a line. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya is set to benefit from a JPY 10 billion (about Sh9.3 billion) medium-term bond raised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help improve access to energy across Africa.

AfDB announced it had raised the money through a ten-year bond sold to the third-largest life insurer in Japan Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company to help the continent achieve universal electricity access by 2025 with a focus on clean and renewable energy solutions.

“As part of this effort, “Kenya’s Last Mile Connectivity Program II”, an energy project that provides access to electricity in Kenya, aims to provide power to 1.5 million people mainly from low-income groups and micro-enterprises that improve living standards and support economic growth,” the bank said in a statement.

The second phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project is expected to cost about Sh18.5 billion.

The first phase of the project has been funded jointly by the Government of Kenya and the AfDB to the tune of Sh13.5 billion.

AfDB has approved an additional $150 million (about Sh15.4 billion) in support of the project in the next phase.

The World Bank under the International Development Assistance (IDA) is complementing the programme.

Kenya Power said recently there has been a 46 per cent rise in the number of new customers in the last two years raising the number of those connected to more than three million.

The national government targets to have at least 70 per cent of Kenyan households connected to electricity by the end of the year and achieve universal connectivity by 2020.

Kenya’s per capita electricity consumption of 130 kWh per month is quite low compared to an average 550 kWh for sub-Sahara Africa, but electricity consumption is projected to increase by 45 per cent at the end of this year.

The Last Mile Connectivity project seeks to help the government and Kenya Power meet increased demand by expanding the country’s distribution network through the extension of the low-voltage network from existing distribution transformers to reach households located within a 600-metre diameter.

It will also pre-finance low-voltage lines extensions and connection costs.