Kenyan government officials are currently undertaking training on how to develop bankable public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the energy sector.
The training is meant to equip participants with skills of identifying, preparing and negotiating for PPP projects to meet the country’s energy needs.
Kenya is participating in the training that is being held in Marseille, France, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) alongside representatives from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Congo and Mauritius.
“The debate is not about the level of investment required to meet the energy demand in Africa but rather how do we get parties to understand and minimize risk for the respective parties in a negotiation,” said Maude Vallee, principal legal counsel at the African Legal Support Facility, hosted by AfDB.
The PPP model offers an alternative means through which governments can mobilise funds for investment in key development projects in various sectors.
Two years ago, the Kenyan government set up a specialised unit within the National Treasury to handle PPP transactions.
It is tasked with identifying potential PPP projects and negotiating for their implementation on behalf of the government as well as provide an advisory role.
LOW ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY
Access to electricity in the country stands at 47 per cent.
The low rate has been attributed to lack of sufficient power supply, high costs of initial connection and underdevelopment of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The government is seeking to provide more electricity through a 40-month plan to increase the installed generation capacity by 5,000 megawatts by the end of 2016, by involving both private and public generators.
Last month, state-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) announced that it would install a 140 megawatts geothermal power plant at Olkaria IV through a joint venture arrangement that would involve private investors.
According to Mr Vallee, well managed PPP projects will build investor confidence and consequently lead to increased investment in the energy sector.
“The PPP experts attending the training focused on the energy sector are expected to learn from each other and exchange lessons learnt from their individual countries. Building investor confidence in African markets is critical,” he said.