KEPSA Energy and Extractives sector board held its first meeting for the year 2019 on 11th January, 2019 at KEPSA offices. The agenda of the meeting was to review sector board progress for the year 2018 and strategize for 2019 to ensure a more effective way of engagement aimed at creating a conducive environment for business.
The Chair, Eng James Mwangi, welcomed the members to a new and productive year; highlighting the importance of energy in the Big Four agenda. Members raised concerns on the need to address the cost of power in manufacturing while taking on a multi-sectoral approach to promote coordination through other sectors in order create employment, improve value addition, curb counterfeit goods and generally improve our GDP. It was also noted that the private sector needs to coordinate engagements with both levels of government to find a convergence between the private sector and the government while creating opportunities.
In view of recent developments, the disconnect on Power Purchase Agreements between the KPLC and ERC was discussed. The sector board agreed to come up with a position on this that is aligned to the current government development plans, in particular MTP III. The challenges borne by KPLC was extensively discussed as partly arising from an imbalance between the domestic demand of 8.8% and the given projections of 15% p.a. It was noted that the demand ought to be aligned to access. The National Electrification Strategy presents a solution to realizing an ideal balance that incorporates far flung regions with the support of government through subsidies.
In regard to the devolved governments, the sector board highlighted the need to support county energy sectors through the Council of Governors as a follow up to the County Executive Committee Members Summit held in December, 2018. The proposal should work alongside County energy development through the upcoming economic zones. The support would cover coordination of energy planning and development.
The private sector being the engine of the Kenyan economy requires that our input as an alliance goes beyond mere submissions to action. To this effect, members proposed that there is need to revisit the Private Sector Bill which would entrench the private sector participation in policy formations as had been suggested before.
The Sector Board will follow up on the enactment process of the Petroleum Bill, 2017 and the Energy Bill, 2017 when House business resumes in February 2019.
In conclusion, it was noted that the private sector should ensure it contributes to the Big Four Agenda.