Low levels of access to electricity represent a significant constraint on Kenya’s economic growth and socio-economic development. Approximately 35% of the population had access to electricity in 2012. Rural areas are particularly affected, where a small proportion of households have electricity coverage.
EIB financing, signed in March 2017, now targets some 100,000 connections, primarily in rural areas for lower income households. The project comprises a programme of electricity access schemes consisting of the connection of customers to the distribution network across 32 of Kenya’s 47 counties. It involves EIB financing of about EUR 60 million to contribute to an overall investment of EUR 180 million, which will target the connection of some 296,000 households and providing electricity access to an additional 1.5 million Kenyans.
The project's economic benefits comprise increased access to energy in rural areas, with an anticipated positive impact on the economic and social development of communities, households, and small enterprises in the rural areas connected. Directly and indirectly, it is expected to contribute to business creation and employment opportunities and to increased revenues, with the additional social benefits of improved livelihoods in the rural areas, as well as a high development impact from a better quality energy supply that includes improved education from longer study periods and enhanced security. The project will therefore contribute to the achievement of several UN Sustainable Development Goals, notably poverty reduction (SDG 1), inclusive economic growth (SDG 8) and improved access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services (SDG 7). The project also supports the first objective of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services by 2030.