Kenya has taken less than a decade to make giant strides in its energy sector.

Kenya goes all out for renewable energy

Kenya has taken less than a decade to make giant strides in its energy sector. Key to this are two iconic renewable energy projects that have benefited from the decisive support of the African Development Bank: Turkana Wind Farm and Menengai Geothermal Power Station.

The figures speak for themselves – the nationwide electrification rate in Kenya has leapt from 28% in 2013 to more than 60% in 2017, according to data provided by President Uhuru Kenyatta at an energy round table held in January 2018. The government’s next goal is to increase the electrification rate to 80% by 2020.

Two years to the target date, Kenya is on track and making great strides despite the severe drought it has experienced and an increase in demand of 11% per year. This progress is due to Lake Turkana Wind Farm and Menengai Geothermal Power Station.

These two projects have benefited from funding from the African Development Bank, which has also worked closely with the Kenyan Government and development partners such as the French Agency for Development and the European Investment Bank, to ensure the diversification of Kenya’s energy supply, with a focus on clean, reliable and low-cost energy sources. They have also worked to strengthen the national distribution grid by increasing renewable energy installed power by some 10%.

“Six million homes, that is, 69.4% of the population, have electricity supply,” said Ken Tarus, CEO of the national electricity distribution company, Kenya Power, in June 2017.

The result of this is that the load shedding and other untimely power cuts of the past are now much less frequent. In addition, the government reduced the retail price of electricity by 8% in July 2018.

Turkana with the wind in its sails

Lake Turkana Wind Farm project, located in the biggest lake in a desert setting in the world, took 15 years to build. Named the “African Renewables Deal of the Year”, in 2014 by Thomson Reuters, this wind farm is now the largest in Africa. It has hundreds of wind turbines whose blades turn in winds of up to 11 metres per second, about 25 miles per hour. Located in the north-west of Kenya, it has a power output of 300 megawatts.

The Bank served as lead arranger for 436 million euros in senior credit facilities towards the project cost of 623 million euros. The Bank also provided a partial risk guarantee from the African Development Fund (ADF) of 20 million euros, for the part of the project devoted to the transmission line.

Geothermal energy going full steam

The second major project, Menengai Geothermal Power Station, located some 180 km northwest of Nairobi, is another example of Kenya’s geothermal potential. With an estimated output of about 10,000 MW, it supplies 500,000 homes (including 70,000 in rural areas) and 300,000 businesses. Naturally, the plant benefits from its exceptional geographical location on the iconic Rift Valley, which runs for more than 6000 km through the country and into southern Africa.

As a result of the two projects, Kenya’s foremost energy source in the last two years has been geothermal. As of 2018, Menengai is the largest geothermal energy producer on the African continent and the ninth biggest worldwide. Since they became operational, both Turkana and Menengai have run at full capacity.

Once again, Bank financing was central to Menengai’s construction o-funded by the Bank – 96.5 million euros – the Climate Investment Funds hosted by the African Development Bank Group (19.3 million euros). Other partners included the French Agency for Development, (55.5 million euros), the European Investment Bank (29 million euros) and the Government of Kenya (190 million euros).

In March 2018, the government began a project to increase the capacity of Menengai Geothermal Power Station and at the same time decided to invest more in solar energy.

In June 2018, Kenya awarded a 20-year contract for the purchase of 40 megawatts annually from private electricity production company, Kenergy Renewables. The power plant, estimated to cost 60-70 million dollars, will be located in Laikipia, in northern Kenya, and will serve some 50,000 households. This represents another important step in the march towards universal access to electricity in Kenya.

Presently, renewable sources account for nearly 80% of Kenya’s energy supply.

Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, officially opened the sixth meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa

Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, officially opened the sixth meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa

Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, officially opened the sixth meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa and the 13th Africa Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD), jointly organized by the African Development Bank the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Statistics South Africa and the National Statistical Agency of Ethiopia.

About 400 delegates are attending the meetings, which are taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Both events will focus on assessing the progress and challenges of ongoing population and housing census exercises undertaken within the region. Assessment of the 2020 population census comes against the background of a highly successful round of census taking undertaken by fifty African countries in 2010.

The main thrust of the meetings is to mobilize countries to maintain the momentum gained from the 2010 census round, and to discuss how to incorporate emerging technologies to reduce costs of census undertaking.

The meetings will also serve to discuss the need for economic statistics in decision-making and for informing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Countries are being mobilized to invest in timely surveys necessary for compiling reliable economic statistics to facilitate effective policy making.

In his opening remarks, President Teshome emphasized the importance of high quality statistics as a basis for the design and implementation of evidence-based policies at all levels.

Speaking on behalf of the Bank, Charles Lufumpa, Director of the Statistics Department, stressed its commitment to supporting statistical capacity development in Africa. He called upon African countries, regional organizations, development partners and the statistical community to strengthen their collaboration s in building statistical capacity across Africa.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the ASSD Chairman, the Statistician General of Statistics South Africa, Risenga Maluleke who narrated the origin of the ASSD, pointed out its centrality in the success of the 2010 population census round and called on African countries to maintain the momentum.

The Bank delegation is led by the Director of the Statistics Department, Charles Lufumpa, Manager of the Statistical Capacity Building Division, Ben Paul Mungyerez and , Manager of Economic and Social Statistics, Kouakou, Koua Louis.

African Development Bank promotes human capital and industrial development in Africa

Japan: African Development Bank promotes human capital and industrial development in Africa

Researchers and representatives of international agencies and embassies convened for a knowledge sharing event focusing on promoting industrialization and developing human capital in Africa. The African Development Bank organized the event on 26 September 2018 at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

In Asia, which has pursued a robust industrialization path, many countries have experiences to share with African countries, particularly regarding the quality of labor, Keijiro Otsuka, Professor at Kobe University, said during his keynote speech.

Otsuka recommended “Kaizen” – a collection of ideas and insights that many managers and workers have created and refined through observations and experiments carried out over several decades in Japan and other parts of the world.

“Learning from abroad is the essence of East Asian model of development,” the professor added.

About 60 participants attended the event, which was marked by lively participation in the panel discussion moderated by Tetsushi Sonobe, Professor and Vice President of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Also speaking at the event, Ndiyoi Muliwana Mutiti, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Zambia to Japan, encouraged Japanese Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to do more business in Africa.

Yuko Yasunaga, the head of United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Tokyo, gave details of UNIDO’s activities to promote quality training for the business sector. Toru Homma, Senior Adviser of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), explained positive results and impact of JICA’s Kaizen projects to support over 1,000 SMEs in 8 countries.

“Coherent industrial policy is necessary for industrialization,” Tadashi Yokoyama, Head, Asia External Representation, said.

Masahiko Kiya, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, commended the holding of the event in his opening remarks.

The Bank’s Asia External Representation, established in 2012 in Tokyo, actively promotes Asia-Africa dialogues. The event was to promote knowledge sharing on Africa’s human capital and industrial development, Yokoyama said.

Africa has witnessed a recovery in commodity prices as well as economic and political transformation of several states. The average growth rates of African countries are projected to exceed that of the world average in the mid to long term, according to the Bank’s African Economic Outlook.

African Economic Conference (AEC) will hold its thirteenth edition from 3-5 December 2018 in Kigali Rwanda

African Economic Conference (AEC) will hold its thirteenth edition from 3-5 December 2018 in Kigali Rwanda

The African Economic Conference (AEC) will hold its thirteenth edition from 3-5 December 2018 in Kigali Rwanda, under the theme: Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development.

The conference, which is held annually, convenes key development actors, academics, researchers, development partners, politicians and financiers. This year, Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government, will give the keynote speech.

Bank Director for Regional Integration, Moono Mupotola, said the meeting would build on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) signed by 44 African nations in Kigali in March 2018.

“This, not only signified African unity but also the possibilities of what Africa could become from a developmental perspective. The possibilities of larger markets attracting investment, improvement in Africa’s productive capacity due to economies of scale and the possibilities of increased movement of goods, services and people across borders,” Mupotola highlighted.

This year’s meeting will focus, among others, on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for movement of people goods and services across borders. Experts will share views, best practices and lessons on transforming regional institutions for more effective policy and institutional harmonization in the context of the new Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and other continent wide agendas including Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the global Agenda 2030.

The information, technology and digital revolutions are vital to transforming the way of doing business across the continent, thus the need for experts to examine how to better integrate public and private efforts to improve the environment for conducting business in Africa. The meeting will also examine way to reduce the cost of business and building viable value chains for agriculture, commodities and services.

“Our job as the African Development Bank is to make the AfCFTA a reality by helping our regional member countries implement the agreement. The Bank has already provided an initial grant of about US$5 million to support the Africa Union Commission in making the AfCFTA a reality,” Mupotola underscored.

The African Economic Conference is jointly organized by the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The AFDB recently design integrated pest and disease management mechanisms for controlling the spread of the Fall Army Worm in East Africa.

African Development Bank leads pan-African campaign against Fall Army Worm

The AFDB recently convened a meeting of experts and stakeholders in the agricultural sector to design integrated pest and disease management mechanisms for controlling the spread of the Fall Army Worm in East Africa.

The Fall Army Worm or Spodoptera frugiperda is an invasive insect threatening food supplies and incomes of millions of African smallholder farmers. The multi-stakeholder, regional action plans to stop the menace of the worm in Africa falls under the Bank’s Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) agenda.

Held 11 and 12 October 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, the meeting brought together government representatives and fall army worm response coordinators from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

Also in attendance were representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries, regional and international stakeholders in the Agriculture sector. The United States Agency for International Development, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and Syngenta Foundation were also represented at the meeting.

In his opening remarks, Joseph Coompson, the African Development Bank’s Regional Manager for Eastern Africa said: “Reports have shown that if no appropriate action is taken, fall army worm could cause maize yield losses of 21-53 percent – valued at US$2.48 to 6.187 billion, in 12 African countries within five years.”

This trend, if unchecked, “could significantly affect African countries which are already importing food estimated at US$35 billion annually and set to outstrip US$100 billion by 2026,” Coompson added.

Other speakers and participants addressed ineffective chemicals and cultural control methods to reduce the fall armyworm threat. “We look forward to leaving this meeting with technology options to deploy to farmers in the coming season,” said David Mwangi, Head of Plant Protection Services with Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture’s State Department for Crop Development.

Researchers from the FAO, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation and the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, Syngenta, Corteva and Bayer also presented current initiatives and technologies for controlling the fall army worm.

Country focal persons outlined their plans, including financial, policy and regulatory reforms required for achieving quick wins in the fight against the worm in East Africa. They also discussed options for providing effective technologies for combating the worm to smallholder farmers. They observed that in Southern Africa, Fortenza Duo, a seed treatment pesticide from Syngenta Foundation, proved effective against the worm in the first 30 days after crop emergence.

“The submission of national and regional action plans to target millions of farmers shows the degree to which our “plan to action” approach against the fall army worm threat is being taken seriously and is galvanizing governments and farmers to protect not only fields, but livelihoods too,” said Chris Akem, TAAT Coordinator at IITA.

The Government of Rwanda has signed a €229.20 million funding agreement with the African Development Bank

Rwanda and African Development Bank sign €229 million loan agreements to finance electricity projects

The Government of Rwanda has signed a €229.20 million funding agreement with the African Development Bank to support the country’s program to improve electricity supply and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II). This operation builds on the successful implementation of the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program (SEAP) approved by the Bank in 2013 with a combined estimated €39.74million loan and grant.

The operation involves a €165.59-million loan from African Development Bank and €63.61 million from the African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the Bank group. The two loans represent 8.2 percent of the Government’s estimated €2.85 billion budget for the Energy Sector Strategy Plan. It is the biggest single operation of the Bank to enable the government achieve its National Strategy for Transformation that among other objectives seeks to ensure that by 2024 all Rwandan households, health centers, schools and business enterprises are connected to reliable electricity.

The Bank’s contribution to SEAP-II will be for three fiscal years ending in 2021/22 and will be disbursed using the Results Based Financing (RBF) instrument, which ensures better risk management and the country’s highly developed results-driven approach.

The funding will support construction of 795 kms of Medium Voltage and 7,317 kms of Low Voltage lines, boosting nationwide connectivity and lighting up previously unserved communities. The program is expected to result in significant reductions of time and frequency of service interruption to customers and network losses and will ultimately contribute to ensuring financial sustainability of the country’s energy sector.

In the last seven years, overall access to electricity in Rwanda has more than doubled from 18 percent to 44 percent at the end of June 2018. The country has also shown strong commitment to achieving universal electricity access by 2024, using a combination of on-grid and off-grid solutions like solar home systems.

“The approved program will enable the Government to add over 193,000 new on-grid and over 124,000 off-grid connections,” said Amadou Hott the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

The Bank’s intervention will improve reliability of electricity supply, increase on-grid and off-grid access to renewable energy for households and commercial usage, and strengthen institutional capacity to deliver on the ambitious government energy program. Slightly over 4,000 people, 30 percent of them women, will receive technical, financial management and safety training. The Government of Rwanda welcomed the timeliness of the Bank’s support towards the county’s universal electricity access goal by 2024, and has committed to allocate the necessary resources for the successful implementation of the operation.

This support will be extended to the Energy Development Corporation Limited and Energy Utility Corporation Limited — subsidiaries of Rwanda Energy Group Limited, the government-owned utility which manages and operates the country’s energy infrastructure.

The SEAP II loan is aligned to the Bank’s 10-year strategy (2013-2022) and current Country Strategy Paper for Rwanda. It also supports three of the Bank’s High 5 priorities namely Light up and power Africa, Industrialize Africa and Improve the Quality of life for the people of Africa. Following the signing of this facility, the Bank’s Country Manager for Rwanda, Martha Phiri said that “the Bank’s energy portfolio in Rwanda will increase from €158.95 million to €388.74 million, supporting eight operations, three of which are being implemented jointly with neighboring states”.

FG approves N122.2m for Mangu water project completion

THE Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the purchase of medical and laboratory equipment worth N103.7 million for the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that government would ensure that the clinic can boast of modern equipment.
Dam. Source: wikipedia
He said, “The Ministry of Transportation presented two memoranda, one of which was for medical and laboratory equipment for NPA for a total sum of N103.7 million for the purchase.
“The only difference is that we have to buy the one that is digital to ensure that we have more modern equipment in the hospital.
“The second one is that we awarded a contract to a consultant to help in the implementation of the international organisations for the ISO 9000 and the council approved it for us.
“The total sum is N238.576 million.”
Also briefing, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the council also approved the revised cost for the completion of Mangu Water Supply project in Plateau State which was started in 2012 but had no budgetary allocation between 2014 and 2016.
Adamu described the project as one of those government considered as a medium priority after it conducted a technical audit of all abandoned and ongoing projects in water resources in mid 2016.
According to him, “The project has attained 85% completion, thanks to the effort of the contractors who have continued to work at some points without payment.
“After taking so long and in view of the inflation indices, there was a need to augment the project with N122.2 million to bring the project cost from N855.49 million to N977.7 million with an additional completion period of six months.
“We hope that this project will be completed soon so that it will provide the benefit it was intended for the people of Mangu in Plateau State.”
The minister said he also presented a report of the international conference on Lake Chad which took place in February.
He said, “You are aware that the conference was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and Presidents of the member-states of Lake Chad as well as representatives from Angola and President of Gabon.
“We had over 1,200 participants. Following the conference, we have developed an action plan arising from the recommendations of the conference which we have started implementing.
“Obviously, because of the queuing process of many memos and reports, we were able to present the report to the cabinet today.”
He said there was a consensus at the conference to save Lake Chad from extinction and that the inter basin water transfer from Congo Basin is the most viable option for achieving it.
“We have an estimate of $14.5 billion,” he said.

Seventh NASS: N17bn wasn’t a bribe, says Okonjo-Iweala

A former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Sunday, said that she never claimed in her book that the increase in the 2015 budget by the National Assembly was used to bribe the lawmakers.

The former minister said this in a statement on Sunday by her Media Adviser, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu.

There have been reports that the minister in her book, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines,’ revealed the blackmail and arm-twisting that characterized budget passage by the National Assembly during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The minister, according to the report, had cited an instance in 2015 when the National Assembly leadership forced the executive arm to part with N17bn for the federal lawmakers before passing that year’s budget.

The N17bn alleged bribe, according to the reports, was beside the National Assembly’s N150bn annual budget.

Reacting to the reports, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, told reporters that he was not aware that lawmakers took a bribe.

Gbajabiamila, who was the Minority Leader in the 7th Assembly, admitted that lawmakers had a running battle with Okonjo-Iweala and her aides over the budget because they fused in their own projects to the detriment of some lawmakers.

He had said, “My hunch is that being an election year, members might have wanted several projects sited in their constituencies so that they could have something to campaign on. It is wrong to portray that members were given money for the passage of the budget.”

But in the statement issued on Sunday, Okonjo-Iweala said that the book didn’t talk about bribes, adding that it indicated that lawmakers increased the budget by N17bn and such practice needed to be changed.

She said, “One more time, it is important that people read the book for themselves. In the case of the N17bn, the book does not talk of bribe.

“It indicates that lawmakers increased the budget by N17bn and we had to accept that to move on; hence, the term ‘price to pay’.

“The reason for discussing what happened is that this approach needs to change. The country must clear up and clarify its budget process for the future to improve.”

She said in the statement that the claim by Gbajabiamila that she and her aides inserted their own projects in the budget was untrue.

“Those like honourable Gbajabiamila trying to introduce lies that myself and my aides put in our own projects and lawmakers were fighting with me on that basis are playing their usual cynical games and Nigerians are tired of that!”