The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) is keen to get the $309 million Kenya/Tanzania electricity deal agreed.
Why is this important: Kenya imports hydroelectricity from Ethiopia and Uganda, while Tanzania rations power due to low hydro generation. The tripartite deal will boost the electricity supply and cut reliance on expensive and socially unfriendly thermal power in the two countries. As the major financier, the AfDB is keen for Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Ketraco) to reach an agreement so that the implementation of the project can proceed. The nature of the deal will ensure the transfer of electricity from an electrical grid to an electrical load outside its boundaries using existing distribution networks.
The bottom line: Electricity generation and distribution is Africa's biggest problem, but with persistent power rationing, a sense of urgency is expected from Kenya and Tanzania to avoid prolonged pain to their respective countries. Cross-border exchanges are cheaper and have cleaner power, which will tremendously benefit the Eastern African region.