Powering Progress in Kenya: The successful implementation of Kenya’s electrification strategy

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Kenya is currently on track to reach access to reliable and clean electricity for all citizens. As part of its ambitious development agenda Kenya Vision 2030, the African country’s electrification strategy enabled the state to transform from one of the least electrified nations in the world to one of the most electrified states of the African continent in less than two decades. Moreover, the East African country has the unique feature of achieving these high levels of electrification in combination with high levels of renewable energy resources within their energy mix. This thesis aims to explore Kenya’s successful implementation of the Kenyan National Electrification Strategy (KNES) as part of its ambitious development agenda, Kenya Vision 2030. In this thesis, the political economy of the country’s energy and electrification strategy has been examined to explain how the country succeeded in reaching remarkable figures for electrification rates within a short period. Through an explaining-outcome process tracing method, this thesis concludes that the narrative of neoliberalism can sufficiently explain the successful implementation of Kenya’s energy strategy implementation. By utilising neoliberal policies, the Kenyan energy sector underwent changes related to privatisation, marketisation and global market integration. These changes resulted in a rise in private investment in energy projects, primarily through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), leading to an increase of the electrification rate and an overall sustainable improvement of the energy sector.
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