Kenya signs $13m green hydrogen pact with EU

Wednesday September 06 2023
Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks on the second day of the Africa Climate Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on September 5, 2023. PHOTO | NMG


President William Ruto and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have inked a deal that will see the European Union (EU) provide nearly Ksh1.9 billion ($13 million) in grants for investment in Kenya’s green hydrogen industry.

Speaking at the launch of the Green Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap for Kenya, Ms Leyen said Kenya is a key ally in the fight against climate change.

“Kenya’s ambitious target of 100 per cent clean energy by 2030 is an inspiration to other countries. The green hydrogen roadmap will help Kenya achieve this goal. It will help reduce emissions, support a strategic industry for the country’s future and boost its export capacity to partners like the EU,” she said.

Read: EU makes offer to Africa's climate change fight

The roadmap sets out Kenya’s ambitions for developing its green hydrogen industry through to 2032 and beyond. It focuses on domestic market development and growth, exports, and includes specific targets for emissions reduction, job creation and direct investment.

President Ruto said that the roadmap prioritises economic expansion, creation of employment opportunities and promotion of environmental stewardship and charts a course for the country to harness the potential of green hydrogen as a key driver of energy transformation.


“The green hydrogen economy will enhance food security, including the expansion of Kenya’s green production of tea, coffee, horticulture, floriculture and cereals. It will also facilitate the decarbonisation of our industries and indeed the economy,” he said.

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen told delegates that green hydrogen is the energy of the future.

“Africa has great potential to become the leading continent in the development of this green energy source. Our support for Kenya’s green transition is part of the Global Gateway, a positive and sustainable investment strategy that will mobilise $161 billion for Africa,” Ms Urpilainen said.

Read: Big potential for green hydrogen in North Africa, report says

Thomas Östros, the vice-president of the European Investment Bank, said Kenya’s adoption of the visionary roadmap will strengthen the country’s role as a global leader in clean energy.

“As a leading financier of renewable energy in Africa and globally, the European Investment Bank stands ready to strengthen technical and financial cooperation with Kenya, Team Europe and international partners to enable Kenya to fully exploit its geothermal, solar and wind resources,” he said.

Dr Baerbel Kofler, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, said: “Germany wants to continue to support Kenya on this innovative path. ...Green fertiliser produced in Kenya can contribute to sustainable food security for the people in Kenya. Germany will support this promising project with a loan of €60 million.”

He added that his country will soon open a hydrogen diplomacy office in Nairobi to “intensify our dialogue and cooperation”.