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Kenya and U.S. to Partner on Developing Green Manufacturing Base

The partners will focus on clean energy, electric vehicle supply chains, and data centers. The new deal will leverage Kenya’s green energy production to help U.S. companies shrink their carbon footprint.

Kenya and U.S. to Partner on Developing Green Manufacturing Base

In an interview ahead of his state visit to Washington starting Wednesday, the President of Kenya William Ruto announced that the country will launch an initiative with the United States next week to develop a green manufacturing base in Kenya.

The project aims to accelerate the country’s production of clean energy, build supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles, and encourage investment from U.S. companies seeking factories powered by renewable energy.

“The use of Kenya’s green energy resources and America’s technology can unlock huge potential, especially with data centers and artificial intelligence,” said the President.

Almost a month ago, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo participated in the fourth American Chamber of Commerce summit in Nairobi, Kenya. At the summit, the officials of these two countries reiterated the commitment from the U.S. business community to the opportunities in Kenya and across the continent. They announced a business partnership based on tech development “to harness artificial intelligence, facilitate data flows and empower digital upskilling with Kenya.”

Two new grants by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency were also announced then to expand semiconductor fabrication in Kenya and the construction of a fiber network along the railways. Besides, Rebecca Miano, Kenya’s cabinet secretary with the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, told participants that Kenya should be a destination for investors for one more reason: decarbonization projects.

Kenya is one of the global leaders in its decarbonisation efforts. About 93% – 95% of the country’s energy is already renewable, intending to reach 100% in the next few years.

Therefore, Ruto hopes to see economic activities, like apparel and steel production, mineral and metal refining, and manufacturing of green hydrogen, shifted to Kenya from countries more reliant on fossil fuels.

Earlier, Kenyan President William Ruto opened the first climate summit in Africa, showcasing Kenya and Africa in general as climate financing opportunities, and drawing hundreds of millions of dollars in climate financing pledges. Furthermore, late last year, Kenya signed deals for seven green projects on the sidelines of the COP28 summit, including geothermal generation plants, fertilizer production and a data center powered by renewable energy.

Besides, the country is already excelling in carbon removal, based on direct air capture facilities. Among the direct air capture companies planning to open their plants in Kenya shortly are Israel’s RepAir Carbon; Belgium’s Sirona; Germany’s Carbon Atlantis; Germany’s Greenlight Technologies and Octavia. All these companies have partnered with U.S.-based carbon storage provider Cella, which will store the concentrated carbon extracted from the air.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.