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A five-storey residential building collapsed Wednesday near the Makongeni Police Station along Jogoo Road in Nairobi.

One person died on the way to Kenyatta National Hospital, several were injured and others are trapped in the debris.

 One of Samsung's Mobile Vehicle trucks launched today at Sarit Center

Samsung Electronics East Africa has today flagged off four new fully equipped service trucks to improve access to high quality and efficient customer service.

Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewables but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path toward a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources – hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.

“There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa’s energy problems in the next fifteen years,” Steiner said in an interview with IPS.

Sharing the example of the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, Steiner told IPS that the decision was taken that “if UNEP is going to be centred with its offices in the African continent on the Equator, there can be no reason why we are not using renewable energy. So we installed photovoltaic panels on our roof which we share with UN Habitat, 1200 people, and we produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, that is enough for the entire building to operate.”

He noted that although it will take UNEP between eight and 10 years to pay off the installation, UNEP will have over 13 years of electricity without paying monthly or annual power bills. “It is the best business proposition that a U.N. body has ever made in terms of paying for electricity for a building,” he said.

According to Steiner, the “revolution” is already happening in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Ethiopia which are both targeting renewable energy, especially geothermal energy.

“Kenya plans to triple its electricity generation up to about 6000 megawatts in the next five years. More than 90 percent of the planned power is to come from geothermal, solar and wind power,” he said.

Kenya currently runs a geothermal power development corporation which invites tenders from private investor bids and is establishing a wind power firm likely to be the largest in Africa with a capacity of 350 megawatts of power under a public-private partnership.

In Ethiopia, expansion of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant will increase geothermal generation capacity from the current 7 MW to 70 MW. The expansion project is being financed by the Ethiopian government (10 million dollars), a 12 million dollar grant from the Government of Japan, and a 13 million dollar loan from the World Bank.

Renewable energy has costs but also benefits

Phillip Hauser, Vice President of GDF Suez Energy Latin America, told IPS that geothermal power is a good option for countries in Africa with that potential, but it comes with risks.

“It is very site-dependent. There can be geothermal projects that are relatively cost efficient and there are others that are relatively expensive. It is a bit like the oil and gas industry. You have to find the resource and you have to develop the resource. Sometimes you might drill and you don’t find anything – that is lost investment,” Hauser told IPS.

Steiner admitted that like any other investment, renewable energy has some limitations, including the need for upfront initial capital and the cost of technology, but he said that countries with good renewable energy policies would attract the necessary private investments.

“We are moving in a direction where Africa will not have to live in a global fuel market in which one day you have to pay 120 dollars for a barrel of crude oil, then the next day you get it at 80 dollars and before you know it, it is doubled,” he said.

“So if you are in Africa and decide to exploit your wind, solar and geothermal resources, you will get yourself freedom from the global energy markets, and you will connect the majority of your people without waiting for thirty years until the power lines cross every corner of the country,” Steiner added.

A recent assessment by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of Africa’s renewable energy future found that solar and wind power potential existed in at least 21 countries, and biomass power potential in at least 14 countries.

The agency, which supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, has yet to provide a list of countries with geothermal power potential but almost all the countries around the Great Rift Valley in south-eastern Africa – Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania among others – have already identified geothermal sites, with Kenya being the first to use a geothermal site to add power to its grid.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin told IPS that the agency’s studies shows that not only can renewable energy meet the world’s rising demand, but it can do so more cheaply, while contributing to limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius – the widely-cited tipping point in the climate change debate.

He said the good news in Africa is that apart from the resources that exist, there is a growing body of knowledge across African expert institutions that would help the continent to exploit its virgin renewable energy potential.

What is needed now, he explained, is for countries in Africa to develop the economic case for those resources supported by targeted government policies to help developers and financiers get projects off the ground.

The IRENA assessment found that in 2010, African countries imported 18 billion dollars’ worth of oil – more than the entire amount they received in foreign aid – while oil subsidies in Africa cost an estimated 50 billion dollars every year.

New financing models for renewable energy

According to Amin, renewable energy technologies are now the most economical solution for off-grid and mini-grid electrification in remote areas, as well as for grid extension in some cases of centralized grid supply.

He argued that rapid technological progress, combined with falling costs, a better understanding of financial risk and a growing appreciation of wider benefits mean that renewable energy would increasingly be the solution to Africa’s energy problem.

In this context, Africa could take on new financing models that “de-risk” investments in order to lower the cost of capital, which has historically been a major barrier to investment in renewable energy, and one such model would include encouragement for green bonds.

“Green bonds are the recent innovation for renewable energy investments,” said Amin. “Last year we reached about 14 billion dollars, this year there is an estimate of about 40 billion, and next year there is an estimate of about 100 billion dollars in green finance through green bonds. Why doesn’t Africa take advantage of those?” he asked.

During the conference in Lima, activist groups have been urging an end to dependence on fossil fuel- and nuclear-powered energy systems, calling for investment and policies geared toward building clean, sustainable, community-based energy solutions.

“We urgently need to decrease our energy consumption and push for a just transition to community-controlled renewable energy if we are to avoid devastating climate change,” said Susann Scherbarth, a climate justice and energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe.

Godwin Ojo, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, told IPS that “we urgently need a transition to clean energy in developing countries and one of the best incentives is globally funded feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.”

He said policies that support feed-in tariffs and decentralized power sources should be embraced by both the most- and the least-developed nations.

Backed by a new discussion paper on a ‘global renewable energy support programme’ from the What Next Forum, activists called for decentralized energy systems –including small-scale wind, solar, biomass mini-grids communities that are not necessarily connected to a national electricity transmission grid.

Source: OilPrice.com

The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr. Christian Turner, today formally handed over an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) machine to the Kenya Airways (KQ) Group Managing Director & CEO, Mr Mbuvi Ngunze, at KQ Headquarters, Nairobi. The gift forms part of the on-going co-operation between Kenya and the UK on combating terrorism.

GMEA  Isuzu Dmax launched in February 2014

Kenya Coaches Industries Limited (KCI) has today, December 16, 2014 officiated a KES 500 million state-of-the-art Isuzu and Chevrolet showroom, service workshop, parts center and body facility along Mombasa road, Nairobi County.  The facility will serve the growing demand for vehicles and create a world class facility for customer experience.

Chinese Amb. Liu Xianfa (top left), CS, Ministry of ICT, Dr. Fred Matiangi (top right),ICT Authority acting CEO,Mr Victor Kyalo and Huawei Technologies CEO (bottom left), Mr. Dean Yu sign ICT MOU  in June

Huawei Technologies in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Technology have this week sent off the first beneficiaries of the ‘Huawei Seeds for the Future’ internship programme. The programme aims at training top engineering students drawn from various local universities with the requisite ICT skills and providing them with the opportunity to learn and apply the latest technologies.

KenGen is set to boost power supply with construction of two additional 210MW of geothermal power. The State owned company has invited bids for design and construction of two geothermal plants of combined capacity of 210MW in the Rift valley region.

This is the most recent addition to Kenya‘s intention to have 5,000MW of installed capacity to the national grid system in the next two years as most of the power comes from geothermal sources.

Currently, Kenya is continent’s largest producer of geothermal energy and exports energy generated from its geothermal wells in the Great Rift Valley region.

Meanwhile, Kenya Power has entered into an agreement to sell 30MW of electricity to Rwanda. Kenya Power, Rwanda Energy Group Limited and Uganda Electricity Company Limited have finalized negotiations to ease the trade.

The sale that is expected to begin in July 2015 will see interconnected transmission grid running and connecting Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. From the agreement, power will be conveyed through another entity’s transmission line network to another customer.

With this, Rwanda is set to improve its power generation capacity which stands at 160MW against a demand of 160MW.

 

 

 

The Company of the Year Award (COYA)2014 was held in November at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. The event organised by Kenya Institute of Management, (KIM) aimed at celebrating achievements made to enhance an organizations’ management capabilities, performance excellence and offer the right tools to win in the tough operating environment of political regime.

Winners included Crown Paints (Company of Year), Cube Movers (Small and Medium Enterprise of the Year), and Jubilee Insurance's Emily Kamunde Ororo (Manager of the Year).

Chief guest was ICT Principal Secretary Joseph Tiampati. Other guests included Uchumi Supermarkets CEO Dr Jonathan Ciano, Kiambu Deputy Governor Gerald Githinji and KIM CEO David Muturi.

COYA uses an assessment tool called Organizational Performance Index (OPI) to rate companies against global business values, which are listed as categories.

COYA recognizes companies that are exceptional when ranked using international best practices like marketing, financial management and corporate citizenship, among other values.

Last year, financial services group Britam won the overall award and Boma Hotel won the Small and Medium Enterprise of the Year Award (SMOYA) category. 25 large companies participated in the evaluation while 15 SMEs which included businesses with annual turnover of below Sh1 billion also contested for the first time.

 

 

 

In November, Suleco Company Limited bagged the Woman Contractor of the year 2014 in an event sponsored by Athi River Mining Cement (ARM). The winner walked away with KES 1,000,000 worth of cement in an event that saw key stakeholders from the construction, manufacturing, banking academic and financial industries attending. The nominees were selected from a cross section of nation-wide candidates who sent in their applications to the National Construction Authority (NCA).

“The government and other private sectors should train young people, especially women to take up bigger roles in the manufacturing industry.  This will ensure that quality constructors receive recognition and support so as to encourage competition,” remarked ARM Cement’s Managing Director, Pradeep Paunrana.

Principal Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Marium El Maawy said that the Ministry will ensure that women play their rightful role in developing this great nation by empowering them to thrive in the lucrative construction industry and have an active voice in the business community. This in turn will boost their careers, give them power and control over their lives.

Last year, the event was held in August to acknowledge and empower women contractors as well as give them a platform to interact with their peers. The dinner was attended by over 300 women contractors.

Other nominees were as follows; Eunitech Engineering Ltd. was the 1st Runners up and received KES 500,000 worth of roofing material from Mabati Rolling Mills. Zueda Zee Enterprises were the 2nd Runners up who received KES. 250,000 worth of paint from Sadolin. Short listed candidates, Best Building Works contractor awards went to Riza works, Best Road Works contractor went to Namunyak Ltd. and Most Inspiring Contractor went to Power Eagle Enterprises.

ARM Cement sponsorship programmes are based on three pillars of education, health and the environment under the Rhino Cement Foundation.

  • 400 Kenyan Women trained On ICT use by Intel

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