President Uhuru Kenyatta attended and presided over the official opening ceremony of the 2016 Nairobi Innovation Week, held at the University of Nairobi’s main campus, to engage policy makers on the growth and support of the innovation ecosystem in Kenya.
The President was drawn to the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences’ (CAVS) stand which hosted exhibitions from the Wangari Maathai Institute and clean cooking and lighting innovation technologies from the wPOWER Hub. The President familiarized with the different technologies and observed as they were presented at the exhibition, learned about existing global energy problems and wPOWER Hub’s intervention.
The President’s visit came at a critical time when approximately 70% of Kenyans neither have electricity nor access to alternative sources of energy. About the same number rely on traditional fuels, such as fuelwood, charcoal, dung and agricultural residues for cooking and heating. Speaking during the presidential visit, wPOWER Hub Project Officer Simon Kiragu explained how the wPOWER Hub initiative was participating in the socio economic empowerment of grassroots women in clean energy solutions and expressed hope that as a result of the exhibition and forum, which has drawn a huge volume of clean energy stakeholders and practitioners, an innovative and sustainable energy action plan will be drawn.
The Project Officer stated that the wPOWER Hub initiative complemented the government’s efforts to enhance global energy security, drive economic growth, bring life-changing energy services to grassroots women and increase ambition in combating climate change.
President Uhuru assessed as inspiring the efforts of the wPOWER Hub in recognizing and addressing the critical importance of increasing clean energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change.