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Is the Kenyan Electricity Regulatory Board Autonomous?

Mr. Patrick Nyoike

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Kenya.


Abstract 

Results of research work into electric power sector reforms in Kenya spanning over a period of about thirty years are presented in this article. Of particular interest is the autonomy or independence of the Electricity Regulatory Board of Kenya (ERB), established in 1998 through a new electricity law, the Electric Power Act (EPA), Number 11 of 1997. The autonomy of the ERB is reviewed in depth, and its ability to ensure that the electricity industry provides services for the poor assessed.  The following are considered as key factors underpinning the degree of autonomy that ERB can enjoy: 

- Legal status of ERB as provided for under the EPA and whether there were any other statutes impacting on it's autonomy;

- Chain of Command, particularly in relation to the role of the Kenyan Government institutions which may have some links to the power sector;

- Mode of appointment of ERB members or directors including its Chairman;

- Range and relevance of representation of stakeholders in the ERB, with special emphasis on the representation of the poor;

- Adequacy of funding for the ERB;

- Provisions for the process of appeal against the Board's decisions


Keywords: Kenya, Electricity, Reforms, Poor.

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