In line with the Power Africa initiative, the USAID Economic Growth office asked Cambridge Resources International (CRI) to develop a course that would address the challenges around private participation in the power sector in Africa. As a part of this effort, associates from John Deutsch International were invited to work with CRI to assist in development and delivery of the first iteration of this program at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) in Lower Kabete, Nairobi, from March 31 to April 25.
Training is a major part of the Power Africa initiative. The final decisions about the future of the power sector ought to be made by local experts, since on the African continent, this sector is undergoing expansion and improvement at a rate rarely experienced elsewhere.
The course has been a success, attracting more than 30 participants from all the key stakeholders in the power sector including Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ministry of Development and Planning, Privatization Commission, Energy Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KeTraCo), and the National Treasury. A number of faculty members from the Kenya School of Government have also participated in the course with the objective of developing local capacity for education and research on various aspects of the Power Sector.
As a part of this course, a symposium was held to evaluate the current regulatory and capacity issues in Kenya. Topics of discussion included the regional and international status of the Kenyan electricity market, role of project evaluation in this sector, integration of renewables, rural electrification, and regional benchmarking. Juan Belt, Senior Economic Advisor, Economic Policy (USAID) and Conrado Garcia, Mission Economist (USAID Kenya) joined this panel as distinguished guests.
Discussions were lead by Jorry M. Mwenechanya, head of the Zambian Rural Electrification Authority and the former head of the electricity regulatory authority of Zambia and John Wehner, who recently retired as the Principal Financial Analyst at the Florida Light and Power and the Finance Head of NextEra Energy’s Portfolio Management Group. NEE was named No. 1 among electric and gas utilities on Fortune magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” The symposium was moderated by Bahman Kashi, the Program Manager at JDInt’l.
The presence in Kenya provided an opportunity for the representatives from Kenya School of Government (KSG) to work with JDInt’l associates on developing a series of professional courses on investment appraisal to be offered at KSG.
KSG hosts numerous professional programs for government officials from Kenya and other countries in the region throughout the year. These courses are in the form of intensive two-week to four-week modules. Within this framework, JDInt’l associates assisted KSG to finalize the curriculum for three courses covering financial analysis of investment projects, economics and stakeholders analysis, and project finance and risk analysis.
Internalizing the education on advanced project evaluation methods is a necessity for increasing the government’s capacity to design effective projects, optimize the mix of investments, and provide a sustainable PPP frameworks. Demand for such skills are now more than ever in Kenya as the country has recently gone through a devolution process, forming county governments with a significant degree of autonomy on budgeting and investment.
We look forward to further collaborations with the Kenya School of Government and other academic institutions in Kenya.