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Kenya: German chancellor in quest for clean energy deals

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz & Kenya’s President William shake hands after a joint press conference in Berlin on March 28, 2023.   -  
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President William Ruto of Kenya welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Nairobi, Friday, for the second leg of the diplomat’s African tour.

The German chancellor is knocking on Kenya’s door, seeking clean energy partnerships after Germany had to wean itself off Russian energy import’s following the war in Ukraine.

Kenya is currently Germany’s biggest trading partner from East Africa. 90% of the east African nation’s power needs are covered by renewables with plans to fully go green by 2030.

Scholz will be visiting a geothermal power plant at Lake Naivasha on Saturday. Geothermal power is key in Kenya's energy mix and offers excellent conditions for the production of green hydrogen.

"The hope is that green hydrogen could eventually be imported from Kenya," explains a German government source.

German leaders have over the last months been sealing energy deals with a wide variety of countries after it was forced to rapidly wean itself off cheap Russian energy imports following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Although Scholz government recognizes Kenya as an important economic and value partner, this tour mainly underlines the strategic importance of the continent and the efforts undertaken by Western states to counter China and Russia's overtures to the region.

Scholz will seek to rectify Russian propaganda justifying its war on Ukraine as a result of NATO's expansion zeal.

With an eye on China's huge economic investments in Africa, Scholz will also seek to "offer political and economic cooperation on equal terms," the government source said.

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