The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $133 million (Sh11.9 billion) loan to fund a project aimed at improving access to electricity among poor populations in Kenya’s rural areas.
Only a third of Kenya’s more than 40 million people are connected to the grid, and poor access to electricity as well as erratic supplies are seen as major constraints on economic growth.
The government plans to add 5,000 megawatts (MW) to the existing 1,664 MW by 2017 in a country that relies heavily on geothermal and hydro-electric power.
“This project will increase access to modern, reliable and affordable energy supply which will in turn encourage Kenya’s transition to green growth,” Alex Rugamba, director of the AfDB’s energy, environment and climate change Department, said in a statement.
The project aims to connect at least 314,200 new customers and is estimated to cost Sh13.2 billion, with the government contributing Sh1.26 billion.