Kenya is a model investment destination for Africa – Richard Branson


Richard Branson
Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson has said that Kenya is a model investment destination for the rest of Africa.

Speaking after he led a group of investors in talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at Harambee House, Sir Branson said the proposed renewables project to be set up in Kenya would benefit the 50% Kenyans who are yet to access electricity.

The investors met President Kenyatta to discuss ways of exploring and utilizing the most of Kenya’s abundant potential for green energy.

“Investors in this initiative have chosen Kenya because the Government is ready to listen to ideas and help implement them”, he said.

He pointed out that the project would cover Kenya and Rwanda, before being rolled out to other parts of the African continent. Both countries would serve as models.

Sir Branson thanked the President for supporting the new venture, saying Kenyans were diligent, and that it was only good sense to invest here.

The initiative comes in the wake of recent reports identifying a significant role for green mini-grids in rural electrification.

The proposed investment in renewable energy aims at displacing a percentage of diesel generation in off-grid stations.

Investment in renewables is set to raise the supply of clean energy for productive use, in support of Vision 2030 and is expected to open up job opportunities and revenue.

The meeting comes just a week after President Kenyatta launched the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, expected to be the largest such project Africa generating 310 megawatts of electricity, 14 per cent of Kenya’s current generation capacity.

Other investors in the delegation included Jacqueline Novogratz (founder and CEO, Acumen), Chris Anderson (curator, TED Conference) Dipender Saluja (Capricorn Investments), Steve Jurvetson (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Strive Masiyiwa (founder and chair, Econet Wireless), Jean Oelwang (CEO, Virgin Unite) and Zia Khan of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Also present at today’s meeting were Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki, KEPSA chairman Dennis Awori, Athi River Mining Company CEO Pradeep Paunrana, Transport and Infrastructure acting CS Henry Rotich and Industrialization counterpart Adan Mohamed.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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