Engaging Kenyan Communities in Energy Development

Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company’s Managing Director in Magadi
Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company (GDC) supports community engagement efforts to improve livelihoods in communities involved in energy projects, including a Happy Customer Service Week like this one in Magadi with the GDC Managing Director. Photo Credit: GDC
Power Africa’s Guide to Community Engagement for Power Projects in Kenya (p. 22) outlines a three-step process required to conduct community engagement effectively. The Kenyan energy entities have implemented components of this process for the past four years and continue to find new ways to serve their communities.

Commitment to the Process

With support from Power Africa, power entities reviewed their own performance through the lens of human and institutional capacity development, including community engagement based on principles in the guide. Some of the utilities identified shortfalls in their community engagement strategies as a hindrance to progress in Kenya’s energy-sector development. Motivated to improve their engagement strategies, the utilities worked with Power Africa to co-develop interventions that would standardize best practices and policies in socially responsible energy development. Power Africa also led capacity-building sessions to support utilities in educating their staff, contractors, and affected communities on socially responsible power development.

Four Kenyan school children
Kenya’s energy entities are supporting communities in the long term with corporate social responsibility and investment programs like KETRACO’s engagement with local schools. Photo Credit: KETRACO

The Future of Community Engagement

More than ever, Kenya will need to engage local and diverse communities for the energy sector to meet the ambitious targets set by Kenya Vision 2030 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. By 2030, power utilities aim to expand both generation and transmission capacities to meet Kenya’s growing demand for electricity. Kenya will also need to support a growing economy, which includes large power users; effective community engagement can pave the way for success.

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Power Africa

Power Africa

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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