NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya and Spain on Tuesday agreed to
explore a partnership on social housing for the low income
earners especially in urban areas.
Uhuru Kenyatta and Joseph Borrell Fontelles, visiting Spain’s
minister for foreign affairs, European Union and cooperation,
also agreed to pursue partnerships in the areas of renewable
energy, particularly in solar and wind energy.
A statement issued from Kenyatta’s office said Spain is ready
to engage and participate towards the achievement of the
affordable housing pillar of the Big 4 Agenda.
"We have many firms that can be good partners in affordable
housing," Fontelles said, noting that his country has a unique
social housing model where construction, renovation and buying
of houses are subsidized by the state through reduced interest
loans to providers.
Houses developed under this scheme, dubbed publicly protected
housing, are provided to the public almost entirely on
owner-occupation terms, rather than for rent, he said.
Under the affordable housing pillar of the Big 4 agenda,
Kenya plans to put up at least 500,000 affordable houses by
The minister also welcomed Kenya’s continued efforts to
improve operations at the Port of Mombasa saying his country
welcomes the reforms the country has taken to enhance efficiency
at the facility.
During the meeting, Kenyatta assured Spain that Kenya is
doing everything possible to streamline operations at Kenya’s
"The port was a big loophole for us.
"We are working on it and soon all the systems will be
"In about a month, we will be able to see great changes at
"We are trying to ensure the importation of goods is
streamlined," Kenyatta added.
He also welcomed Spain’s proposal for a partnership to
develop Kenya’s tourist sites and enhance tourist experiences
especially in scuba diving, a hobby that’s becoming a major
tourist attraction in the country.
The two countries further agreed to develop partnerships in
sports especially in football and athletics. Spain is famed for
its highly developed football while Kenya is an African
powerhouse in athletics.
"We are keen on developing football academies across the
country where we can start training our youth on the sport from
early ages," said Kenyatta.
"Our objective is to tap and develop the football talents of
young people and transform this potential into rewarding
engagements," he added.
Spain and Kenya also signed three protocols on political
relations, foreign service training and on the protection of
Kenya launches project to
provide solar solutions in marginalized counties
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Tuesday launched a 4.7 billion shillings
(4.7 million U.S. dollars) project for the private sector to
provide solar solutions in marginalized counties.
The facility under the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP)
is aimed at spurring the private sector to provide viable solar
and clean cooking solutions in the 14 marginalized counties.
Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary in the ministry of
energy, said the country has made great strides in achieving
connectivity with access to electricity standing at 75 percent
through both grid and off-grid options.
"However, access to electricity is low in the 14 marginalized
counties, which represent 72 percent of the country’s total land
area and 20 percent of the population.
The dispersed settlements in the marginalized counties make
off-grid solutions the only viable alternative for access to
electricity," Njoroge said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The results-based financing (RBF) and debt facilities under
the KOSAP are financed by the World Bank and implemented by the
ministry of energy alongside the Kenya Power and Lighting
Company (KPLC) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable
Energy Corporation (REREC).
They are intended to ensure that counties that are not served
by the grid and have been classified as marginalized by
Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) are not left behind and
receive access to energy through off-grid solutions.
Through financing from the World Bank of 150 million dollars,
KOSAP seeks to overcome these challenges and establish viable
off-grid solutions for areas that are too far for the national
grid to be economical.
Patrick Thaddayos Balla, World Bank K-OSAP Task Team Leader
said the project targets about 1.3 million people from the 14
Balla said this will be realized through the construction of
about 151 mini-grids in the target counties as well as the
installation of stand-alone solar systems under the financing
launched on Tuesday.
"The World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of
Kenya in achieving the universal access goal laid out in the
Kenya National Electrification Strategy and is partnering with
the government to ensure that nobody in the target counties is
left behind in accessing modern energy services," said Balla.
The project also targets replacing 380 diesel pumps with
solar for drinking water, and expects to facilitate the
provision of 150,000 clean cooking stoves in West Pokot,
Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu and Isiolo.
The RBF and Debt Facilities specifically aim to establish
sustainable supply chains for marketing and sales of solar home
systems in KOSAP counties.