Nairobi, Kenya - 27th March 2023
Nairobi, 27th March 2023 – Under this motto, the “Italy-Kenya Business & Investment Forum on Geothermal” was successfully held today with more than 120 participants at the Kawi Complex Auditorium in Nairobi, promoting the development of new synergies and collaborations in the field of geothermal and beyond between the private and public sectors of both countries.
The Forum was organized by UNIDO ITPO Italy, the Italian Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, with the financial support of the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security (MASE) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Kenya, the Geothermal Association of Kenya (GAK) and Unione Geotermica Italiana (UGI), as a part of UNIDO ITPO Italy’s ongoing mission to Kenya for an Italian business and institutional delegation in the geothermal sector under the umbrella of the FIPEE project.
Notably opening with the welcome remarks of GAK Chairman Mr. Paul Ngugi, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Italy to Kenya Ms. Lorenza Gambacorta, UNIDO ITPO Italy’s Head Ms. Diana Battaggia, and Her Excellency the Ambassador of Kenya to Italy Ms. Jackline Yonga, the Forum featured the interventions of several high-level government and institutional guests, starting with the keynote address of Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Kenya Mr. Alex K. Wachira – who stressed on the importance for Kenya and Italy to further strengthen their existing relations in renewable energies and particularly in the geothermal sector, where new partnerships could be established – as well as UGI President Prof. Bruno Della Vedova, Vicepresident of the Italo-Kenyan Trade Association (CDCIK) Mr. Ashfaq Makrani, and GAK Vice Chairman Mr. Peketsa Mangi for the closing remarks.
“This Forum reflects the goals of the FIPEE project by facilitating investments, the transfer of skills and best practices, and policy dialogue to boost local markets for economic growth and energy cooperation” added UNIDO ITPO Italy’s FIPEE Project Coordinator Ms. Valentina Maltese during her speech, before leaving the floor to UNIDO ITPO Italy’s Expert in Energy and Environment for Kenya Ms. Linda Faith Okaalet in order to highlight UNIDO ITPO Italy’s latest activities in support of the Kenyan geothermal sector.
During the main panel session of the Forum, many expert representatives of the major Kenyan stakeholders in the field — namely Managing Director and CEO of the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Mr. Abraham Serem, Mr. Paul Ngugi as Acting Managing Director of the Geothermal Development Company (GDC), Ag. Director Economic Regulation & Strategy at the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Dr. John Mutua, Director Geothermal of Akiira Geothermal Limited Dr. Stephen Onacha, and Director of Geothermal Training and Research Institute (GeTRI) at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Prof. Nicholas Mariita — delivered technical presentations on geothermal energy in Kenya to provide the Italian delegation with a comprehensive overview of the local sector by illustrating its legal framework, main challenges and potential.
In the afternoon session of the Forum, the Italian enterprises introduced their innovative solutions and expertise to the Kenyan and international audience, paving the way for the following highly participated Q&A and networking sessions, during which all participants at the Forum had the opportunity to interact and discuss together opportunities for investment, business and collaborations.
UNIDO ITPO Italy’s mission in Kenya will now continue with the visit of the Italian delegation to strategic Kenyan geothermal sites — among which Menengai, Akiira, Oserian and Olkaria — with the goal to promote international cooperation to harness the huge potential of Kenya in the geothermal, renewable energy sector and beyond, toward an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development within the country, in line with the mandate of UNIDO and the United Nations 2030 Agenda.