Festus Boamah
Rising demand for electricity in the Kenyan periphery has created opportunities for corruption. Decentralised solar electricity exists, but those running a business from home using modern appliances need more energy. Desperate for access to the electrical grid, people resort to bribing public officers to get connected. Criteria for inclusion in rural electrification initiatives are unclear and leave people confused. As a result, corruption appears to be a ‘problem-solver’ in Kenya’s electricity market – a notion reinforced by corruption scandals hitting Kenya Power – the sole distributor. Development practitioners should start by focusing on the planning stages of electrification initiatives, and project implementation style, to address these challenges.

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