The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday signed two loan agreements, totalling US$ 158 million, with the kenyan Government to finance a major regional hydroelectric power project and the enhancement of the country’s higher education system.
The first loan for US$ 115 million will finance the construction of the multinational electricity highway between Ethiopia and Kenya, consisting of about 1,068 km of high voltage direct current (HVDC) 500 kV transmission line and associated AC/DC converter stations at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya) substations, with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 MW.
The project will be commissioned in November 2017.
The second loan of US$ 43 million will go towards improving the quality and relevance in engineering faculties in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 priorities for science, technology and innovation (STI) and human resource aspirations of the East African Community (EAC) integration.
The project aims to contribute to an increase in qualified and skilled engineers from 6,350 in 2012 to almost 12,000 by 2017 to drive the key sectors of Vision 2030.
The project will target six university constituent colleges and two universities whose core mandate is STI in line with the Kenya Engineering Registration Board (KERB) recommendations.
The loan agreements were signed by Gabriel Negatu, the AfDB East Africa Regional Director, and Kenya’s Finance Minister, Robinson Githae.