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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya launches World Bank backed off-grid electricity project      

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- KKenya on Tuesday launched the 150 million U.S. dollar World Bank-backed Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) that aims to expand electricity access to all parts of the country, a government official said.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Joseph Njoroge told a media briefing in Nairobi that approximately 690,000 households in 14 counties will benefit from the project.

“KOSAP will involve setting up mini-grids in areas that are not currently connected to the national electricity grid,” Njoroge said.

The project is part of government efforts to ensure the East African nation achieves universal electricity access by the year 2020.

Data from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum indicates that 6.2 million households are connected to electricity, representing 70 percent of the population.

Njoroge said that there are some regions in the country mainly in the arid and semi-arid areas of the north that are not connected to the electricity grid.

“This is because the cost of electricity infrastructure is very expensive given large distances and low population densities. As a result these households are forced to use kerosene for lightning and cooking,” he said.

The project aims to compliment the Last Mile Connectivity Project that subsidizes households to access the national grid.

Sudeshna Banerjee, Practice Manager, for World Bank’s Global Energy and Extractives Practice for the African Region said that the project leverages the strengths of Kenya’s dynamic private sector, omnipresent mobile telephony, emerging off-grid business models to create development impact for its citizens.

 
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary at Ministry of Energy speaks during the launch of Kenya off-grid solar access project in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Sept. 19, 2017. The project was launched on Tuesday through a partnership between World Bank, Ministry of Energy, Kenya Power and Lightning Company (KPLC) and Rural Electricity Authority (REA). XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

Banerjee said that the country’s electricity grid footprint remains largely localized in the central belt of the country where 80 percent of the population lives.

             

 

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