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Uhuru, S.Africa DP discuss technical skills exchange, green energy



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Kenya and South Africa can delve into the exchange of technical skills, Deputy President David Mabuza said in his meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.

The South African leader said his country has a programme that allows youths to acquire these skills through on-the-job training under the supervision of professionals such as engineers. They acquire certificates in the end.

President Kenyatta and Mr Mabuza discussed youth empowerment, cooperation in agriculture, education and geothermal power generation in their meeting at State House in Nairobi.

Deputy President Mabuza, who was with South Africa’s High Commissioner to Kenya Koleka Anita Mqulwana, termed Kenya a torch-bearer which must lead development initiatives in East Africa.

Mr Kenyatta briefed the DP on Kenya Commercial Bank’s 2jiajiri programme and government initiatives geared towards equipping youths with technical and entrepreneurial skills for their empowerment.

“We are investing in technical and vocational education and training to equip the youth with skills that will enable them to engage in income-generating activities instead of relying on the increasingly diminishing white collar jobs,” President Kenyatta said.

On electricity generation, President Kenyatta talked of the progress Kenya has made towards attaining 100 percent transition to green energy.

The president emphasised that Kenya is focused on moving away from thermal power generation because it is expensive and harmful to the environment.

The president cited the 83.3 Megawatt unit 6 of the Olkaria 1 Geothermal Power Plant, as one of the latest projects that are aimed at boosting Kenya’s generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

Others include the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power, that is billed to be the largest in wind power project in Africa, and the 54 MW Garissa Solar Plant.

“Currently, geothermal accounts for 40 percent of our electricity. By the time we finish projects that are currently underway, it will be almost 50 percent,” he said,

Deputy President Mabuza was in the country in June for Madaraka Day celebrations that were held in Meru.

He returned to Kenya in October, when he briefed President Kenyatta on progress in the South Sudan peace process after visiting Africa’s youngest nation and meeting President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

Officials who attended Friday’s meeting were Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau

Later, President Kenyatta held talks with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has been working with the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) on ensuring an effective framework for monitoring the delivery of flagship government projects

The projects include those aligned to the Big Four agenda and Vision 2030.