KENYA is poised to be among the first African countries to benefit from a US$5 billion the World Bank Group has committed for technical and financial support for energy projects in the continent.
The country is among other nations that has partnered with President Obama's Power Africa initiative alongside Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
The initial funding was made at first United Sates-Africa Summit where World Bank Group President, Dr Jim Yong Kim said the new financial commitment was urgently needed to generate more electricity for the people of Africa.
It is estimated 600 million of whom have no access to electricity despite the fact that Africa possesses some of the world's largest hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar potential, as well as significant oil and natural gas reserves.
"I'm very pleased to announce that the World Bank Group, following President Obama's lead, will partner with Power Africa by committing $5 billion in direct financing, investment guarantees, and advisory services for project preparation in Power Africa's six initial partner countries," he said.
He said the US Government and the World Bank Group were working now on specific tasks and milestones which could help to achieve one quarter of Power Africa's goal of generating 10 000 megawatts of new power in Sub Saharan Africa.
Africa's power crisis forces families and communities to spend significant amounts of their income on costly and unhealthy forms of energy, such as diesel generators or wood for indoor cooking fires.
"Like Europe and the rest of the world, Africa deserves the same opportunity to exploit this green source of power to improve the lives and economic prospects of its people," said theWorld Bank's Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop.