A new campaign is calling for government action to widen access to clean, affordable energy – unlocking sustainable growth, and preparing Kenya for climate risks such as extreme weather.
The Kenyan branch of Power Up launched in Nairobi on July 5, presenting nine policy recommendations for the national government. Leading energy sector organizations were joined by frontline enterprises to make the case for urgent action.
Speaking on behalf of Kenya’s State Department for Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira, Paul Mbuthi, Senior Deputy Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy, said: “The government of Kenya fully supports this initiative.”
“The global clean energy 2030 agenda will not be achieved without addressing energy efficiency and clean cooking,” he added.
A new Power Up policy briefing – Powering Rural Growth and Climate Adaptation in Kenya – lists all nine policy recommendations. These include tax relief and policy stability for enterprises, subsidies for small-holder farmers, and the founding of a government-led technical assistance programme.
The briefing also highlights the importance of affordable power in driving improved agriculture and other business opportunities. In a country where farming creates 30% of GDP and 56% of employment, extreme weather and other climate impacts threaten Kenya’s ambition to transform into an industrializing, middle-income country, as set out in its Vision 2030 agenda.
Investment and new policies are essential to meeting national goals of a 100% renewable energy mix by 2030, and the arrival of 300 billion USD of green investments by 2040.
Power Up will champion the policy recommendations this summer in the build-up to Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Action Summit, two events of global importance taking place in Nairobi this September.
“Kenya can be a continental climate trailblazer”
Power Up campaign members include the ACCESS Coalition, which strengthens civil society organizations bringing clean energy to communities. Membership Manager Florence Gichoya said: “Wealthy nations and financial institutions must boost support for climate adaptation, particularly access to clean and affordable energy. Also, Kenya can confirm its status as a continental climate trailblazer, with energy policies that will help accelerate socio-economic growth for all in the society.”
Elizabeth Ooro is Head of Sales and Marketing at Mwangaza Light, a faith-based social enterprise partnering with churches to enhance energy access, women’s empowerment and climate action.
She says: “From personal experience, I have witnessed the transformative impact of clean and affordable energy on both health and economic well-being. The introduction of efficient modern cookstoves has not only saved valuable time for women but also mitigated air pollution and alleviated the strain on our vital forests, which serve as a shield against climate change.
“However, to extend these positive changes to a greater number of lives, it is imperative to secure investments and implement supportive policies. By doing so, we can usher in a brighter future for all.”
Power Up is set to champion the policy recommendations in the build-up to Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Action Summit.
The two events will be taking place in September in Nairobi.