East Africa

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Kenya government to own majority stake in Kenya Power

[img:Kenya - Pic 1_0.jpg|Part of the Kenya
Power & Lighting
Company transmission
system
]Nairobi, Kenya --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 28 October 2010 - Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) ‒ the country’s monopoly power distributor ‒ is to raise US$309 million (R2.1 billion) in a capital restructuring that will result in the government owning a majority stake in the company.
 
“The reorganisation involves the conversion of preference shares into ordinary stock, a rights offer and a share split,” Dyer & Blair Investment Bank executive director Kabaki Wamwea said in an interview. Dyer & Blair is advising KPLC on the process.

The Sub-Saharan African renewable energy market is poised to experience exponential...

[img:Cornelius.thumbnail.jpg|Cornelis van der Waal,
Programme Manager,
Frost & Sullivan
]19 October 2010 - The Sub-Saharan African renewable energy market is poised to experience exponential growth with governments in the region announcing new RE projects on a regular basis. The achievement of future projects will largely depend on the successful implementation of these early projects and feed-in tariffs for their effective roll out.

KenGen profits drop attributed to local drought

Njoroge

14 October 2010 - Kenyan Electricity producer, KenGen, has announced a drop in earnings after poor weather hit its hydro-electric power production, opening way for independent power producers to reap huge profits. .

Eddy Njoroge, KenGen’s chief executive, said the company failed to meet the set energy production threshold because of the drought— mostly in the first half ended December—that saw its revenues adjusted downwards by Sh1.25 billion.

Electrifying African interest in renewable energy

[img:June 2 2008 Pic 33_0.jpg| ]4 October 2010 - Various countries in East Africa are making gradual progress in moving from a solely carbon-based electricity network to a cleaner power grid.

"We are not there yet, but countries are starting to take the bull by the horns," said Mark Hankins. As a renewable energy consultant he has worked in the field of rural electrification and renewable energy in East and Southern Africa for the past two decades.

China leaves the West on the side lines in Africa

By Jeffrey Sachs

One of the most riveting moments of the MDG summit came when a senior adviser of the China Development Bank set out some of today’s global realities. She explained on Tuesday that the Bank has $600bn of assets and plans to boost its Africa portfolio.

She noted China’s world-leading speed in building infrastructure, and its intention to help do so in Africa. And she expressed China’s intention to work not only with national governments but also with international institutions, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank, to get the job done.

The room was electrified, as it were, by the prospect of Africa being electrified so rapidly, with China’s investment, technology, and support. The World Bank, African Union, and African Development Bank had projected a series of maps on the screen indicating Africa’s needs for regional roads, rail, power, and fibre optic grids.

Suddenly, all of it seemed quite doable, in a new world economy in which China uses its vast reserves, talents, and economic interests to help get the job done.

One of the strangest parts of the current global policy environment is that the US and European governments have been relatively disengaged from Africa’s infrastructure challenge.

The stakes are very high. Many tens of billions of dollars of investments are needed each year. These investments will boost Africa’s growth, cut poverty, and generate income and jobs in the capital-exporting countries as well.

Much of the needed investment in Africa’s roads, rail, power, connectivity, and more, can be financed by the projects themselves, with well-structured long-term loans backed by future payments of electricity rates, or highway taxes, or other project revenues.

Yet it is only China that is active in financing and building Africa’s infrastructure on a large scale, while the US and Europe are on the sidelines, despite world-class infrastructure companies operating at low capacity.

This is an example of the US’s current macroeconomic policy failure: the failure to identify and support pathways to recovery through export-led and investment-led growth.

One of the most interesting interchanges in the room was between a senior advisor to the government of Ethiopia and the CEO of a world-leading telecom technology provider.

The advisor explained that Ethiopia was maintaining its state monopoly on telecoms in order to use government profits to boost access. The telecom CEO explained that it has been open market competition, and not state monopolies, that has resulted in the world-changing boom of mobile telephony to today’s 5bn subscribers, including hundreds of millions of subscribers throughout Africa.

I had a look at the data online during this discussion. Sure enough, in the 139 countries ranked recently by the World Economic Forum regarding cell-phone penetration (subscribers per 100 population), Ethiopia ranked in last place. Time to abandon the state monopoly.

IFC estimates it can help mobilize an initial $100 million in...

[img:65_66Pic3.thumbnail.jpg| ]27 September 2010 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said it can help mobilize an estimated $100 million for sustainable energy projects in Kenya over the next five years, representing a significant opportunity for the private sector to support initiatives that will increase access to electricity while reducing carbon emissions. Kenya's government has identified an immediate market of renewable energy projects worth at least $2.5 billion open to private sector investment.

Oil prices encourage poorest to use renewables – IEA

[img:Nobu.thumbnail.jpg|Nobuo Tanaka,
Executive Director,
IEA
]22 September 2010 - Higher oil and energy costs mean the world's poorest people should look to renewable energy sources to provide the power generation so many lack, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.

Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA which advises 28 industrialized countries on energy policy, said oil prices near $75 a barrel CLc1 meant rural populations in sub-Sahara Africa should turn to solar, wind and other renewables.

Kenya asks EU to set up insurance fund for energy projects

[img:Kiraitu.thumbnail.jpg|Energy minister
Kiraitu Murungi
]16 September 2010 - Kenya has urged the European Union to set up an insurance fund to cushion the African governments against investments in energy production projects.

Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi told the African-EU high level partnership meeting here in Vienna, Austria that lack of such an insurance, was holding back most developing countries from venturing into such projects.

Kenya’s KenGen to add 20 MW from wind by end 2012

[img:June 2 2008 Pic 33_0.jpg| ]10 September 2010 - Kenya's KenGen will add 20.4 megawatts of electricity from wind turbines at a single site in a move to add renewable power sources to help stabilise supplies by 2013, its energy minister said on Wednesday.

Ranked as east Africa's largest economy, Kenya has a low power generation capacity and is heavily dependent on good rainfall to fill its dams.

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