Access to Electricity is crucial to Africa’s growth - not having access to electricity poses a very serious threat to the communities’ development indicators, including education, health, food security, poverty reduction, gender empowerment and many others.
The big picture: Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) are working together on project known as “Kenya–Tanzania Power Interconnection Project” to geared towards enabling the two neighboring countries share electricity easily. The project will cover Kajiado County in Kenya and three regions in Tanzania, namely; Arusha Region, Manyara Region and Singida Region.
Electricity is one of the most important innovations of all time, its availability in these regions will involves supporting of lot of different industries, including tourism, and rural-based industries such as agro-processing.
Why It matters: The project will enhance electricity connectivity, promote energy efficiency and facilitate the development of rural electrification projects that will increase electricity connectivity in the Eastern and Southern African countries.
According to the World Bank more than a billion people around the world still lack access to electricity – most of them are in Africa and Asia. About 600 million people - 70 percent of sub- Saharan Africa’s population live without electricity which is critical to clean water, telecommunications services, and all the technologies.
Where is the funding coming from: The project is being implement through a $258.82 million loan from the African Development Bank and the Japanese International Co- operating Agency.
Where is Kenya and Tanzania stand
Employment Creation: The project is expected to generate employment to local communities in both countries at least in semi-skilled and unskilled jobs.
The general objective of the project is to increase transit capacities and flexibility of operation of the Kenya - Tanzania 400 kv interconnection grids and to improve sustainable electricity supply in Kenya, Tanzania and the East Africa Power Pool. The current rate of access of electricity is around 23% in Kenya and 14% in Tanzania.
The interconnection project:
- Will enhance economic and social development in the region by improving quality and increasing energy availability.
- Will provide a more sustainable energy supply for both countries and will increase power supplies to areas with deficient electricity.
- Will help in reducing the duration and frequency of power interruptions in both countries including Nairobi, Isinya, and Arusha, Manyara, Dodoma and Singida regions.
- And It will also help in reducing power system and technical losses to meet the existing and increasing power demand in the whole area including Ethiopia and South Sudan via the Ethiopia-Kenya Interconnector and the East African Power Pool; while the Tanzania transmission line will be interconnected with South African Power Pool through Zambia on the Zambia –Tanzania backbone Interconnection.