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Kenya to partner with US researchers

NAIROBI, Kenya OCT 2- Kenya is looking to create a liaison office with research institutions in America as it seeks to triple power generation by 2012.

Speaking during the opening of the 19th National Economic and Social Council meeting, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the link to such institutions mainly in Boston would advance technology transfer to Kenya.

The Premier who returned to the country this week after a visit to the United States said green energy would improve energy security in the country and lower power costs.

He said as the effects of global climate change continue to manifest, Kenya would have to be in the forefront of energy efficiency of the economy by conservation and adopting energy efficient technology.

Development of green energy is also touted as an appropriate way of cutting down dependency on imported oil.

“It is equally critical to improve energy efficiency of our economy by conservation and by adopting energy efficient technologies, “he said.

The country is currently undergoing its worst drought in years, which has set back development projects and slowed down economic recovery.

Mr Odinga however expressed confidence that the country would overcome the challenges, saying the momentum towards full economic recovery must be restored for the country to resume the path of rapid growth.

At the same time the Premier urged for a review of the two days allocated for meetings of the NSEC, saying the duration was too short to adequately address the agenda set out.

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“I would like to suggest that we see whether we can streamline our agenda, because we must remember having too many priorities is having no priority,” he said.

He further rallied members of the economic council to hasten the process of implementing recommendations and resolutions passed during meetings.

Of concern, however, was the high number of absentees especially by line Ministers charged with overseeing economic growth, social equity, employment creation and reduction of poverty as being crucial.

One of the agenda’s of the day was to discuss the development of integrated transport infrastructure, but had to be deferred because Transport minister Chirau Ali Makwere was not at the meeting.

Other minister who did not attend the talks were Uhuru Kenyatta (Finance) John Michiki (Environmnt and Natural resources), William Ruto (Agriculture), Kiraitu Murungi (Energy) among others.

He urged the ministers as well as other members to attend such discussions saying their input was crucial in turning around Kenya’s economy.

Also on the agenda is Kenya’s housing challenge and national plan for industrialization, the implementation strategy for vision 2030 and leveraging opportunities in US-Kenya links.

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