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Kenya, French pact steps up energy access

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday said that Kenya will play a key role in leading programs that provides concrete solutions for energy access in developing countries.

The PM said that after the launch of Paris-Nairobi Initiative, Kenya will be instrumental in assisting especially African countries to achieve the ambitious goal of universal access to energy by 2030.

He said that the universal access to energy by the year 2030 was consistent with the recommendations of the United Nations on Energy and Climate Change.

He noted that the idea to start the initiative was kicked-off at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Cancun in December 2010.

"France and Kenya saw the need to launch an initiative on access to clean energy in Africa and other countries vulnerable to climate change," Mr Odinga said.

He announced that a secretariat for the initiative will be set up in Nairobi and its head will be appointed soon.

"This is not just about talk, we want to ensure that the whole exercise is fast-tracked," he said.

Mr Odinga said the Paris-Nairobi Initiative will open high level interactions of stakeholders including government ministries, representatives of multilateral and bilateral development partners and energy experts.
On the rising cost of living in the country prompted by escalating fuel and food prices, the Prime Minister side-stepped the matter but promised to issue a statement in Parliament on Wednesday during the Prime Minister\’s question time.

He said that matter was important as it touched on the livelihood Kenyans and "cannot just be wished away."

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Mr Odinga said stakeholders from all sectors were discussing the matter in an effort to find a solution for the benefit of all Kenyans especially those most vulnerable.

At the same time, the PM appealed to Members of Parliament to be united and pass outstanding laws needed to implement the Constitution so that the country moves forward.

Present were the French Ambassador to Kenya Etienne de Poncins, Energy Assistant Minister Mohammed Mahmoud, Assistant Minister in PMs office Alfred Khangati, PS for Environment Ali Dawood Mohammed.

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