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Kenya: the Italian experience in renewable energy

Today and tomorrow at Strathmore University in Nairobi will take place an event on the theme of renewable energy organised by the Italian Embassy in Kenya, in collaboration with the Res4Africa Foundation (supported by Enel Green Power and other companies in the sector) and the Politecnico of Milan.

The meeting, which saw the participation of the Kenyan Minister of Energy, Charles Keter, as well as various representatives of the private sector, for a total of over 400 participants, aims to fuel a discussion among the multiple stakeholders to promote Italian best practices in terms of education, research and innovation in the field of renewable energy, to establish a fruitful exchange and possible future collaborations and synergies between Italy and Kenya.

Renewable energies have assumed an increasingly important role in the fight against climate change at a global level, and especially in Africa, where they are a fundamental component for increasingly sustainable development. The continent’s economy is expected to grow by about 4% this year. East Africa, with Kenya ranking first, seems to be the fastest-growing region. African country enjoys abundant resources and great potential in terms of geothermal, solar and wind energy, and their efficient development will be fundamental to stimulate development and economic growth. Investment in renewable energy is therefore seen as a pivotal solution to enhance Kenya’s widespread access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. For this reason, increased investment, through the involvement of the private sector, accompanied by a favourable regulatory and regulatory framework for this purpose, appears essential to achieve these objectives.

Opening the meeting, the Italian Ambassador to Kenya, Alberto Pieri, stressed that “renewable energies are a milestone in the strategy against climate change and at the same time represent a key component in the promotion of sustainable development. In this major sector, Italy and Kenya can establish a winning partnership”. The representative of the Kenyan Government, the Energy Minister of Kenya, Charles Keter said: “I recognise the fundamental role of our partners as a key factor in attracting more and more investment, and I encourage the development of collaborations aimed at exchanging expertise and good practices in education, research and innovation to promote sustainable development in Kenya”.

The event will continue tomorrow, with two sessions focused on examples of good Italian practices in terms of training and research to prepare the ground for possible partnerships also in the field of research and innovation. Experiences of projects of civil society organisations that focus on renewable energy as a driving force for the social and economic development of local populations will also be presented.