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The African Development Bank Group appoints Dr. Kevin Kanina Kariuki as Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth


The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kevin Kanina Kariuki as the Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate & Green Growth, effective from 16 April 2020.

Kariuki, a Kenyan national, is a chartered electrical engineer with over 30 years of experience in power system development, renewable energy development and energy efficiency, climate change and green growth, strategic energy partnerships, energy financial solutions, policy and regulation. Well known for his passion for the development of privately financed infrastructure, Kariuki is credited for his leadership in the successful development of over $1.75 billion of privately financed infrastructure projects.

Since November 2002, Kariuki has been working at the Industrial Promotion Services Kenya Ltd (IPS) where he is currently the Head of Infrastructure. IPS is the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). As the Head of Infrastructure, Kariuki has been responsible for identifying and coordinating the development as well as management of opportunities and investments in infrastructure services in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Mozambique.

As the Power Sector Lead for AKFED, Kariuki has overseen several power investments worldwide. Some of the successful projects he has led include the following: a $650 million, 147 MW Ruzizi III Hydropower project which is sponsored by the Governments of Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda; the $902 million, 250 MW Bujagali Hydropower Project in Uganda which was successfully commissioned in 2012 ahead of schedule and within budget. A greenfield BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) project, Bujagali won the 2007 Africa Power Deal of the Year Award by Euromoney “Project Finance Magazine” and is currently the largest Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in a Least Developed Countryworldwide. Kariuki was also the sponsor focal point for the renegotiation of $403 million Bujagali power project financing, which reached financial close in July 2018. The unprecedented refinancing of a “Project Financed” project resulted in the extension of Bujagali’s financing tenure which occasioned significant reduction in bulk tariffs. Another investment was the West Nile Rural Electrification Project, a vertically integrated isolated power utility that is involved in the generation, distribution and supply of electricity in the West Nile region of Uganda. The project was the first African Project to qualify for carbon trading under World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund.

Other successful projects that Kariuki has overseen include the 75 MW, $86 million Kipevu II Power Plant in Kenya; Pamir Energy, a vertically integrated (generation, distribution and supply) utility in Tajikistan whose generation is from a 44 MW hydropower plant; and the 460 MW AzitoEnergie CCGT (to be expanded to 713 MW, approximately 30% of Cote d’Ivoire’s installed capacity) power plant in Cote d’Ivoire and arguably the largest independent power producer (IPP) in sub-Saharan Africa. Kariuki has also been overseeing the development of the 150 MW SanodbodHydropower Project, a border project in Tajikistan whose output is planned for export to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kariuki also led the IPS team that co-developed the $650 million, 15,000km state-of-the-art SEACOM submarine cable – an undersea optic fibrecable linking South and East African countries with other international broadband cables in South Africa, India and Europe. The project, which was commissioned in July 2009, won the 2007 African Communications Deal of the Year Award by Euromoney’s “Project Finance Magazine”.

Before joining IPS, Kariuki worked at the Kenya Electricity Regulatory Board (predecessor of the Energy Regulatory Commission) as the head of the Technical Division and lectured at the International Law Institute in Uganda. He has served on boards of several organizations including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG) where he is a non-executive board member and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) where he was Chairman of the Board from 2012-2013. He is a frequent global speaker on private sector participation in infrastructure, including public-private partnership (PPP) schemes. He was a 1996 joint-winner of Institution of Electrical Engineers Premium Award.

A Chartered Electrical Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Kariuki is a holder of a PhD in the Reliability of Power Systems and MSc in Electrical Power Engineering both from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology; a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nairobi; and a Diploma in General Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said: “Kevin Kariuki’s leadership is well known in the power sector of Africa and he brings a robust set of skills and competencies to lead the Bank’s Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Complex. He has extensive knowledge and hands on project development, investment and management experience of the power sector and has worked on many successful power development projects. I am delighted that Kevin will lead our team to accelerate our goal for universal access to electricity across Africa, while continuing to drive the Bank’s leadership position for accelerating renewable energy for Africa”.