Power Africa helped KenGen create an official COVID-19 return-to-work strategy for the utility’s more than 2,500 employees.

KenGen Engineer at the Olkaria power station, Naivasha Kenya.
KenGen Engineer at the Olkaria power station, Naivasha Kenya.
KenGen Engineer at the Olkaria power station, Naivasha Kenya. Photo credit. Nyaga Ireri

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a marked effect on the financial performance of East African power utilities. Supply chains are not yet back to normal, commercial and industrial consumers are using less electricity while residential customers are using more, and revenue patterns are unpredictable.

Utilities like Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and Kenya Power continue to cope with decreased demand for electricity and corresponding decreases in revenue as customers shelter at home and businesses restrict their activities.

Moreover, for utility staff, uncertainty about health benefits, return-to-work policies, and exposure to coworkers who have recovered from COVID-19 impacts erodes morale and decreases productivity. Given the prospect of COVID-19 restrictions persisting well into 2021, it is important that utilities develop and implement policies that address staff concerns about the pandemic and allow for the resumption of normal business activities. …


Power Africa shines a light on gender-based violence

WATCH: GBV and Electricity: What’s Light Got To Do With It?

A pandemic affecting upwards of one in three women globally, gender-based violence (GBV) touches every facet of society, including the energy sector. During this year’s Digital Energy Festival, Power Africa co-hosted a panel with the International Finance Corporation’s Energy to Equal program highlighting the potential for the energy sector to mitigate and respond to the gender-based violence crisis globally and specifically in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The panel opened with Adaku Ufere, Deputy Chief of Party for Power Africa’s West Africa Energy Program, offering an exploration of the relationship between GBV and the energy sector. …


In Nigeria, access to reliable electricity is helping gender-based violence response centers and health care centers better serve their communities

The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre receiving their solar home systems.
The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre receiving their solar home systems.
The provision of electricity to the WARIF center through the solar home systems will ensure guaranteed electricity and the efficient provision of services that require the use of electricity.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, experts working in the field of gender-based violence (GBV) mitigation and response noted a significant rise in domestic violence and an increased vulnerability to other forms of GBV including human trafficking, sexual exploitation, financial disempowerment, and early marriage. These vulnerabilities stem from the stresses related to the pandemic, as well as global lockdowns which have resulted in restricted movement and limited access to resources. …


On November 23, 2020, Power Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded grants totaling $1.2 million to mini-grid developers lighting up more than 5,200 households and businesses in rural Madagascar.

WATCH Launch Event

Off-grid Electricity Vital to Electrify Madagascar

Although rich with renewable energy resources like solar and wind, only 5 percent of rural Madagascar has access to electricity, resulting in dependency on candles, batteries, and firewood to meet daily energy needs.

Off-grid electrification solutions, such as mini-grids, can play a vital role in electrifying Madagascar’s rural areas. …


Afam Power Plants Signing Ceremony Participants
Afam Power Plants Signing Ceremony Participants
Power Africa was instrumental in providing ongoing support to the Bureau for the Afam privatization transaction. Photo Credit: The Office of the Vice President of Nigeria

Clustered in the Rivers State of Nigeria are the Afam power plants, a group of gas-fired thermal power generating facilities with a combined installed capacity of 987.2 megawatts (MW), enough to power more than 600,000 homes.

In 2013, the Federal Government of Nigeria agreed to sell the Afam power plants through a share acquisition, but following a three-year delay in the sale process, the purchasing company withdrew from the agreement.

Subsequently, in 2017, when the National Council on Privatization approved a 100 percent share acquisition sale of the Afam Electricity Generation Company, the Nigeria Bureau of Public Enterprises engaged Power Africa to provide technical advisory support to evaluate submitted proposals, select a preferred bidder, and ensure that the transaction was a success. …


Mwangi Chege, electrical engineer, describes how Kenya Power is using data analytics to improve performance, and shares his experience working with the Power Africa team.

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Mwangi Chege, Electrical Engineer at Kenya Power. Photo Credit: Kenya Power

Electricity utilities in East Africa are adapting to changing technical trends, higher target demands (mainly loss reduction and revenue increase targets), and increasing consumption from end-users as populations grow and economies develop.

However, many utilities struggle with a mixture of poor organizational structure, capacity and skills gaps, weak enforcement of policies and rules, and insufficient funding to address such challenges. …


Study shows win-win opportunities for rural communities and electricity companies in Nigeria

In Nigeria, agriculture employs over two-thirds of the labor force.
In Nigeria, agriculture employs over two-thirds of the labor force.
In Nigeria, agriculture employs over two-thirds of the labor force.

Agricultural activities are the bedrock of most rural economies. As agricultural yields improve, so does community economic development.

In Nigeria, agriculture employs over two-thirds of the labor force, making it the largest sector of the Nigerian economy (accounting for 20 percent of GDP). While there is great potential for improving the agriculture sector in Nigeria, and ultimately improving livelihoods, access to electricity remains a major hurdle for food producers and rural communities.

A lack of electricity prevents farmers from converting produce to a form that can be stored and sold at a later date under favorable market conditions. Because of this, many farmers are forced to sell their crops before they perish, which also does not encourage farmers to take measures to increase farm yields. Availability of electricity has a catalytic effect on farmer incomes and productivity and can be transformational for rural…


Access to news and health information is critical in a crisis like COVID-19.

By Shelmith Theuri, Power Africa Off-grid Project

Collins Seth Ayieko, who lives with his family in Kisumu, in western Kenya, recently acquired a solar home system (SHS) with a television (TV) set.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other Kenyans, Ayieko got his news and health guidance second-hand: from neighbors, at markets, through his children’s school, and at community gatherings.

“I am relieved to now have access to information to keep my family healthy,” Collins Seth Ayieko, Kisumu, Kenya

John Odundo, Business Development Manager for Mwezi Solar, with Collins Seth Ayieko and family in Kisumu, Kenya.
John Odundo, Business Development Manager for Mwezi Solar, with Collins Seth Ayieko and family in Kisumu, Kenya.
John Odundo, Business Development Manager for Mwezi Solar (right), with Collins Seth Ayieko and family in Kisumu, Kenya. Photo Credit: Mwezi Solar

With COVID-related restrictions significantly limiting social interaction, many people — especially those in households without access to electricity — are now cut off from current affairs and other important information such as health alerts. …


With support from Power Africa, as a result of assistance provided to host country governments and the private sector, energy customers in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria gained access to new or improved electricity. Susana’s story highlights one of the experiences households and communities have had as a result of gaining access to that electricity.

Midwife Susana Sunten at work in the local community health center in Kofihwikrom, Ghana.
Midwife Susana Sunten at work in the local community health center in Kofihwikrom, Ghana.
Midwife Susana Sunten at work in the local community health center in Kofihwikrom, Ghana.

My name is Susana. I live in Kofihwikrom, a rural community in central Ghana. I work as a midwife at the local community health center. …


Miriam Njuguna utility female engineer working at the Roysambu substation in Nairobi, Kenya
Miriam Njuguna utility female engineer working at the Roysambu substation in Nairobi, Kenya
Miriam Njuguna utility female engineer working at the Roysambu substation in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo Credit: Mwangi Kirubi

The governments of Rwanda and Kenya, and several of their respective energy sector institutions, are committed to addressing gender inequality. In particular, the Government of Rwanda established a Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, and the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, with support from Power Africa, launched a Gender Policy setting industry-wide standards aimed at enhancing gender inclusion within the energy sector.

Despite this favorable policy environment, a Power Africa assessment found that women are currently underrepresented in the East African energy sector workforce. …

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Power Africa

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 > https://bit.ly/2yPx3lJ

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