Japan promises Kenya aid to fund development, power generation
29 August 2016, 09:43
Nairobi (Reuters) - Japan will give Kenya 1 billion
yen ($9.78 million) in aid to spur economic and social
development, and will extend an as yet unspecified amount for a
geothermal power project, the leaders of the two countries said.
Resource-poor Japan has long been keen on tapping Africa's
vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and
natural gas imports jumped after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear
disaster shut almost all its nuclear reactors.
"Japan will extend grant aid for economic and social
development amounting to one billion yen," Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in
a joint statement late on Sunday.
On Saturday, Abe had told African leaders at a development
conference that Japan would commit $30 billion in public and
private support for infrastructure development, education and
healthcare expansion in the continent over a three-year period
starting in 2016.
Japan will also provide a concessional loan to the Olkaria
geothermal project, operated by state-run Kenya Electricity
Generating Company (KenGen), the two leaders added.
KenGen has a total production capacity of 1,618 megawatts,
of which 514 MW is from geothermal.
Japan has provided loans and technical assistance to KenGen
power projects in the past, among them a 46-billion-yen
($408-million) loan deal signed in March to build a 140 MW
geothermal plant expected to be operational within two years.