Kenya’s government has partnered with the World Bank to fund a US $150m project to connect 250,000 households in 14 counties to solar power through a solar electrification programme.

Speaking during the opening of the sixth Global Off-Grid Solar Forum 2020 in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that 800 public facilities will also be connected to solar power as the government strives to increase power connectivity in the country. “The government hopes to make 1.9 million solar-based connections through the Kenya National Electrification Strategy. To that end, the government, in partnership with the World Bank, has committed US $150m to improve and re-access the 14 counties with low electrification rates,” he said.

Incentives for solar products importers

People importing solar products are also going enjoy tax exemptions and incentives in order to make them affordable. According to the President, the government’s policy to accommodate increased green energy production has seen more than two million solar products imported into the country in 2019 alone, and 6.2 million products since 2009. “Since 2013, we have tripled the number of people with access to electricity from 2.2 million to 7.2 million,” the president affirmed.

This came as Kenya was praised for leading the world in electrification as it hosted delegates from more than 60 countries to address issues around off-grid solar energy.

Connecting 600 million Africans

World Bank country director, Carlos Felipe, said the global institution would enable the government realise its ambition of connecting all Kenyans to power.

The World Bank hopes to reach out to more than 800 million people without access to electricity worldwide, 600 million of whom are in Africa.