U.S. Firm to Invest $4.4bn to Develop Kenya’s Solar Power

Kenyatta with Kerry Adler, the President and Chief Executive Officer of SkyPower Global, who has announced that his company would double the $2.2 billion it agreed to invest in Kenya to develop solar power to a massive $4.4 billion

President Uhuru Kenyatta has praised world governments for trusting Kenya with the role of spearheading the process that led to the adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Speaking when he addressed a special UN Summit held to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals this week, recipe President Kenyatta also thanked UN member states and other stakeholders for patiently engaging in negotiations culminating in a blueprint to galvanise global action towards ending poverty in all its forms.

Kenya co-chaired the inter-governmental process that led to the formulation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 objectives aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and will replace the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted by UN member states 15 years ago.

President Kenyatta said inequality was still rife in the world and much more resources as well as policy dedication was required to mend the rifts.

“We must acknowledge that progress has been uneven across the world and across the Goals. There remains a huge disparity between and within countries, approved ” said the President.

“Within countries, adiposity rural poverty remains unacceptably high while urban poverty is extensive, growing, and underreported by traditional indicators,” said the President.

He said in some parts of Africa, child and maternal mortality were rising instead of decreasing.

The President said Kenya has made tremendous progress over the last decade in addressing factors that have contributed to inequalities.

He cited the 116 per cent rise in the gross enrolment rate in primary schools since the introduction of universal free primary education in 2003.

“Even more significantly we have now achieved gender parity in the primary school cycle while the transition from primary to secondary and tertiary have greatly improved,” he said.

The Head of State also cited the numerous measures introduced in recent years to promote gender mainstreaming including policies in procurement and rules on employment.

Post 2015 Agenda

Earlier in the afternoon, President Kenyatta chaired the first of the six sideline events of the summit of the Post 2015 Agenda. The theme of the interactive dialogue was “tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind”.

He said the objective of the new Agenda of attaining a world free of poverty and hunger within the next 15 years is a good starting point of addressing inequalities.

The President said it is possible to eradicate inequalities if all nations are committed to eliminate discrimination, spend more on healthcare and making it affordable, create decent work and strive towards creating full employment.

The fourth point suggested by the President to address inequalities is improvement of infrastructure for water and sanitation , transportation, energy and information.

“Measures to reduce and redistribute unpaid care work; legal and policy reform to ensure full and equal access to financial and productive resources and assets, especially for women; and universal social protection floors should be a priority,” said the President.

President Kenyatta said inequality can be eradicated and added he was happy to note that the new development agenda voices the needs and rights of those who are furthest behind.

“Inequality can be tackled, it is up to the policy makers to build comprehensive strategies for inclusive growth and better wealth distribution,” said the President.

The session was co-chaired by the President of Croatia, Ms Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
American energy company, information pills SkyPower, what is ed has announced that it would double the $2.2 billion it agreed to invest in Kenya to develop solar power to a massive $4.4 billion (more than Ksh450 billion).

The announcement was made on Saturday when President Uhuru Kenyatta attended a breakfast meeting hosted for him by the Business Council for International Understanding in New York.

The Chief Executive Officer of SkyPower Global, Mr Kerry Addler, also announced that the company will invest huge sums of money to set up a research laboratory in Kenya to advance solar energy.

He announced that the company decided to double its investments and to also donate 3,600 solar street lamps to Kenya to show appreciation for the professionalism the Government has shown in making Kenya business friendly.

“We are impressed by how the Government has conducted itself in a professional and pro-business manner and we are committed to increase our investment in Kenya,” he said.

SkyPower signed the first agreement to invest $2.2 billion in solar energy at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 as part of its response to US President Barack Obama’s advocacy for closer business relations between America and Africa.

The signing of the agreement was then witnessed by President Kenyatta and President Obama in Nairobi.

Speaking at Saturday’s meeting, President Kenyatta said the business partnership between Kenya and the US has scaled up after President Obama’s visit to Kenya.

President Kenyatta told the meeting attended by the CEOs of more than 50 major companies that Kenya has achieved tremendous improvements in the business environment since last year after he held meetings with US business leaders.


He said the Government has enacted several legislations including the Companies Act, the Insolvency Act and a new law on business regulations to make Kenya more open for investment.

The President said the Government has adopted a policy to focus on managing and improving power distribution while facilitating private operators to play the lead role in energy production.

The Head of State said the government will guarantee purchase of power generated by private operators and it will concentrate on improving the distribution networks to increase connectivity.

The President said opportunities for American firms were massive in Kenya and the wider East African region.

He said Kenya and Uganda have finally settled on the route the LAPSSET project and private investors should gear up to take advantage of the opportunities.

“The environment for doing business is changing and there are huge opportunities for US companies to get a foothold in Kenya. It is a case of put in your foot first,” said the President.

Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs) and James Macharia (Health) addressed the meeting.


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