In a transformative move aimed at electrifying more households and empowering local enterprises, the African Development Bank Group has approved a significant €101.10 million loan to Kenya. The funding is dedicated to implementing the third phase of the Last Mile Connectivity Project, designed to enhance electricity access for homes, social infrastructure, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
This initiative, endorsed by the Board of Directors, aligns with the African Development Bank Group’s strategic vision for Kenya, outlined in its 2019-2023 Country Strategy Paper. “The Bank’s support will usher in a new era of accessible, reliable, and affordable energy supply, bolstering Kenya’s Vision 2030,” affirmed Nnenna Nwabufo, Director General for East Africa at the African Development Bank Group.
The project, a priority within Kenya’s development strategy, also benefits from a substantial $13.17 million (€12.12 million) loan from the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF). This additional funding, channeled through the Bank, emphasizes long-term concessional loans for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects.
What makes this endeavor truly impactful is its potential reach. Building upon the successes of the previous phases, this third phase is projected to connect 139,480 households, equating to over 543,972 Kenyans gaining access to electricity. Notably, it will also link 10,521 small and medium-sized businesses and various social facilities to the grid for the first time. These expansions will notably reduce dependency on pollutant energy sources like fossil fuels, charcoal, and unprocessed agricultural waste.
Beyond just providing power, this initiative carries multifaceted benefits. It promises job creation, business opportunities, and enhanced service delivery in key sectors such as education and health. Ultimately, it aligns with Kenya’s Vision 2030, striving for socio-economic development and improved societal well-being.
Moreover, this project underscores a pivotal move towards cleaner energy sources. By transitioning households and businesses to sustainable energy options, it anticipates a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at approximately 3440 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Kenya’s strides in electricity access have been commendable, with 77% of the population already having grid access by June 2022. This surpasses the estimated 50% average in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the government aiming for universal electricity access by 2030, this ambitious project by the African Development Bank Group propels Kenya closer to achieving this significant milestone.
The investment from the African Development Bank Group not only lights up homes but also sparks opportunities for local economies, fostering growth and advancement across various sectors. This monumental step serves as a testament to Africa’s commitment to sustainable development and progress.