The Star (Nairobi)

7 December 2012

Kenya: Ethiopia-Kenya Power Line Gets Sh9 Billion Boost

The government is now waiting for the final loan approval by the French Agency for Development to complete the financing needs for the construction of the power line between Ethiopia and Kenya.

This follows the signing of a Sh9.8 billion loan agreement between Kenya and the African Development bank yesterday just a day after the World Bank committed a Sh37 billion loan for the same project.

The planned 1045 kilometer power line consists of 612 kilometers in Kenya and 433 in Ethiopia with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 megawatts to and from either countries depending on which has surplus power at a given period.

The African Development Bank signed another Sh3.6 to support engineering faculties in universities to train skilled labour for implementation of the Vision 2030 projects.

The funds will used to equip seven universities with relevant engineering technologies and construction of Wangari Maathai Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi.

Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar said part of the money will go towards human capital development through masters and doctorate level scholarships for 750 staff members, 250 of them to women.

"An engineering skills gap of about 30 thousand engineers is not a small problem and I am think this will give us a boost to attain the goal of develop high quality skills for growth. It is estimated that Kenya has a deficit of 90,000 electricians and 400,000 artisans.

"Our partnership with the AfDB is growing every year particularly in financing key development projects especially in the infrastructure which is critical sector to the achievement of our Vision 2030," said Finance minister Njeru Githae.

He said the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies improve the quality of applied knowledge and skills in environmental and natural resource management.

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