Press Release: Kenyan Leaders Advised to Step Up Efforts to Provide Clean Energy Ahead of the Elections

For Immediate Release

Date: Monday, August 7, 2017

Media Contacts:

Open letter to all presidential candidates,

We call on all the candidates in this presidential election to reaffirm their commitment to the critical issue of clean energy access, particularly for women, and make it one of their priorities over the next five years.

In Kenya, 85% of the population, about 38 million people, rely on biomass for cooking1. This inefficient cooking method, and the use of kerosene in the households for lighting causes the premature death of a large number of Kenyans each year due to indoor air pollution. Most of these victims are women and children.

The Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables – wPOWER calls on all candidates in this election to support efficient and sustainable cooking and lighting technology and practices, and to promote women entrepreneurs in the drive to ensure households have access to clean energy. Women in the most marginal areas have the most to lose from current energy policies.

The most vulnerable women will not benefit from large clean energy projects currently under consideration. With the right policies and incentives to support businesses and civil society organisations providing clean energy options to populations currently off-grid, the most marginalised communities could become the greatest winners of the clean energy drive the government has committed to. They could benefit from cheaper more sustainable energy, and employment opportunities from the use and sale of clean energy products.

These elections are an opportunity for all candidates to affirm their commitment to strengthen the Government’s development agenda through extending access to clean energy to currently off grid populations, particularly women.

“Bringing clean energy access to the grassroots is the great work of our time, and women as champions of clear energy and climate action, are the real heroines of this great work.”

Wanjira Mathai, Senior Partnership Advisor, Advocacy and Strategy, wPOWER


wPOWER is a U.S. Department of State funded initiative launched in 2013. wPOWER has partnered with technology, implementation, research, advocacy, and donor partners across the clean energy value chain with a vision to empower 8,000 women in clean energy entrepreneurship to deliver clean energy access to 3.5 million people globally by 2018.

  1. Source: International Energy Agency. (2016). World Energy Outlook – Traditional use of solid biomass for cooking.