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Beating Africa’s Power Problem: The Surprising Success in Kenya’s Power Sector


  • As Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the World Bank's Africa region said in the report Linking Up, which specifically calls for private sector investment in Africa's power sector, “If we do not address the underlying reasons preventing Africans from achieving wider access to reliable and affordable electricity, economic growth on the continent will remain slow, keeping millions trapped in poverty.”
  • In addition to its partnership with the World Bank, Kenya has worked closely with the United States Agency for International Development's Power Africa program, which aims to use public funding as seed money to spur private investment and connect promising projects with private sector investments.
  • The striking similarities between these countries include the implementation of an independent regulator, building an enabling regulatory environment and intense involvement by the private sector in the development of power generation, both in terms of capacity and transmissionCertainly, there are other factors that influence investment in the power sector, including macro-economic factors like foreign exchange risks and environmental security, but these countries have established a roadmap for success, and issues like regulator reforms and the creation of independent regulators to attract the private sector are critical first steps.


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