Kenya and China have signed a deal to enhance the flexibility and reliability of Kenya’s electrical grid. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and Energy China will also cover the planning designing, transformation and modernisation of power generation, transmission and distribution lines and substations.
Other aspects of the MOU include unlocking the potential of renewable energy and advanced energy storage for supporting higher domestic energy sufficiency.
“Kenya is a great champion of renewable energy and that is why our grid is almost 93 percent renewable and that is a deliberate decision [made]. I’m very happy you have technology that can work with us to leverage on our renewable assets,” President William Ruto said.
“We want to persuade you and your companies to look at opportunities of working with us as the government of Kenya to unlock the opportunities of energy as part of enhancing the energy pool not just in Kenya but also in our region,” he added.
The President, who is on a visit to China, also disclosed that the government will enhance its partnership with China in infrastructure development, ICT and agriculture.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’s annual economic survey, China is the single leading source of Kenya’s imports, accounting for 18.2 per cent of total imports, valued at KSh452.6 billion, in 2022.
Some of the major imports from China include iron, steel, assorted machinery and equipment.
In turn, Kenya’s exports to China grew by 26.9 percent to KSh 27.5 billion in 2022.
Li Xi, a senior member of China’s Communist Party-Political bureau in Beijing, pledged China’s support to its companies operating in Kenya.
Among the projects China is keen to invest in include road construction, expansion of the Standard Gauge Railway, modernization of the country’s airports and ICT sector.
“China and Kenya have a shared dream of eradicating poverty through socioeconomic transformation from the bottom and we have identified areas that we can support to realize this vision,” Lin Xi said.
Xi said his country identifies with President Ruto’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda that advocates for inclusive economic growth.
“Your bottom-up economic approach is aligned with President Xi Jinping’s belief and we will support your programmes,” he added.