Kenya President Mwai Kibaki opened a sustainable energy conference in Nairobi, saying Kenya is committed to increasing the supply of sustainable energy, including hydropower, to its citizens in an environmentally sound manner.
Kibaki made the remarks to the March 22 opening of the Conference on Energy and Environment for Sustainable Development sponsored by the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
As reported by state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corp., Kibaki said the government’s institutional reforms include a division of Kenya Power Generation Authority into two entities, one to concentrate on hydroelectricity and the other to focus on geothermal resource development. He added that the government is establishing a Rural Electrification Authority to help bring power to the countryside.
�We are also making progress in developing alternative energy resources,� he said. �These include harnessing solar energy and wind energy, developing mini- and micro-hydroelectric dams at community level, and promoting the use of biomass fuels.�
Kibaki observed that the lack of sufficient and affordable electricity in Africa is due to insufficient financial and technical resources, not a deficiency of natural resources.
�The continent has some of the highest hydroelectricity potential in the world, as well as some of the best opportunities for tapping into renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, and wind power,� he said.
The president noted that TICAD has signed a joint cooperation agreement with the multi-nation New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) under which energy for sustainable development could be one area of extended cooperation between Africa and Japan.
He said the TICAD conference builds on an international climate change conference in Nairobi last year in which then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the Nairobi Framework, a two-year plan to help poor countries, especially Africa, obtain more funds to promote clean energies such as hydropower and wind. (HNN 11/14/06)