New Obama projects to boost Kenya power companies

By Steve Peacock

Billions of U.S. and international-donor dollars in recent years have been delivered to Kenya and Tanzania to modernize their national electrical systems, but that isn’t stopping the Obama administration from tapping the U.S. Treasury for more cash to send to his friends overseas.

Indeed, WND has discovered that a presidential agency is funding new exploratory missions benefiting Kenya state-owned energy companies as well as U.S. corporate behemoths such as GE Energy and Symbion.

Among the project beneficiaries is Geothermal Development Company, or GDC, a self-described “100 percent state-owned company, formed by the government of Kenya as a special purpose vehicle to fast track the development of geothermal resources in the country.”

GDC Managing Director Silas Simiyu, speaking at a United Nations University dinner outside Nairobi, pointed out in 2009 that geothermal energy “is at the core of economic strategy” of Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Accompanied by Hiroyuki Hino – Odinga’s economic adviser – Simiyu also said geothermal “is a winner for Kenya’s energy needs” and “an answer to global warming.”

Odinga, a fellow Luo tribesman to President Barack Obama’s family, is “spearheading Kenya’s green energy development,” the Financial Times of London said in last month’s special report “Africa & the Green Economy.”

The Definitional Mission for Kenya and Tanzania Electricity Sector project is one of the latest initiatives of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an independent White House entity. The project follows WND’s recent discovery that federal spending in Kenya, particularly by the U.S. Agency for International Development, has grown so voluminous that the government needs to hire contractors simply to support endeavors carried out by other vendors.

Similarly, the Obama administration is launching a propaganda machine to mold how the media portray U.S. operations in Kenya – a plan that a WND story recently exposed. WND likewise discovered the administration’s attempted cover up of that plan following the initial investigative report.

The Kenya-Tanzania definitional mission, or DM, will help lay the groundwork for future assistance given to the electricity-generation sectors of the two nations. USTDA says the DM – for which it will pay about $63,000 for a contractor trip to Africa and a report on the findings – is a worthwhile investment, as it will generate business for U.S. companies.

One of the companies benefiting from the taxpayer-funded venture is GE Energy, which last year announced it is aiming for $60 billion in sales by 2014 and $100 billion by 2020.

Additionally, the DM simply is a prerequisite to justifying the funding of future “technical assistance or other trade capacity building activity(ies),” according to a request for proposals that USTDA recently released.

The RFP points out that Kenya Power “recently received $100 million from the World Bank to develop its national electricity grid.”

“In addition, the African Development Bank has approved over $200 million for the development of an interconnection between Kenya and Ethiopia,” the RFP says.

The development of “renewable energy solutions” is necessary, the RFP states, because “Kenya’s electricity grid is relatively small” and requires expertise to oversee “investment and build-out.” Much of this geothermal development is taking place in and around a massive shield volcano known as the Menengai Crater, located in the Great Rift Valley.

GDC in 2010 separately received a $641,000 USTDA grant for employee training and to help the company establish “evaluation criteria for potential private sector investment partners.”

GDC, Kenya Power and other government-owned companies such as KenGen and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd. again “have expressed interest in technical assistance” from the U.S. GDC specifically requests additional U.S. funds to help it develop “power purchase agreements with independent power producers.”

USTDA says it is willing to accommodate the requests because the DM will “capitalize on these recent investments to create opportunities for U.S. companies.”

Tanzania likewise has received significant international donor aid, including a $698 million Millennium Challenge Compact grant from the U.S. in 2008. Tanzania partly used that aid to construct a power plant in Dar es Salaam as well as to deploy overhead power lines.

Symbion Power, a Washington, D.C.-based engineering and construction firm, successfully developed that project, the RFP said. The company now seeks help in order to continue its relationship with Tanzania, something it can accomplish “by developing power plants in the south of the country, and further improving the country’s national grid.”

The chairman of Symbion Power Africa is former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a central figure in the African yellowcake uranium controversy during the U.S. invasion of Iraq under President George W. Bush.

GE Energy also has expressed interest in “developing off-grid and other power solutions for Tanzania,” and therefore would benefit from USTDA assistance. According to the RFP, the definitional mission contractor will seek ways for USTDA “to support the further development of these relationships, as well as to build on our recently completed technical assistance activity with Tanzania’s electricity sector regulator.”

USTDA in June issued a separate RFP that would send contractors on a regional DM, exploring largely the same geothermal opportunities as the new DM but extending its reach from Kenya to Rwanda.

That project, too, will benefit the state-owned GDC, the RFP said.

The links between Odinga and Obama have been documented thoroughly.

Wayne Madsen, author of the recently released “The Manufacturing of a President: The CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama into the White House,” told WND, “Obama clearly is favoring Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his distant cousin who was propelled into power by Soros money into the Orange Movement.”

WND also reported recently on a tell-all book by a former associate that targets Odinga.

Former top adviser Miguna Miguna provided to WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi an 800-page manuscript of the book, which was scheduled to be published in Kenya.

Odinga was appointed prime minister in April 2008 only after he lost the December 2007 presidential election. The decision to create the extra-constitutional “co-head of state” position of prime minister for Odinga was devised by Obama, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The purpose was to stop the wave of tribal rioting and machete-wielding violence against members of the rival Kiduyu tribe in January and February 2008 that arose as Luo members charged their candidate was a victim of voter fraud.

The tribal violence ultimately left 1,000 dead and about a half-million homeless. Some 800 Christian churches were destroyed or burned to the ground, without a single mosque being damaged.

WND reported the existence of a strategy document developed by Obama and Odinga during Obama’s 2006 senatorial “fact-finding” trip to Kenya. It called for Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement to exploit tribal tensions should Odinga lose the 2007 presidential challenge, as a means of keeping alive his aspiration to be Kenyan head of state.

During the 2006 trip, Obama campaigned so openly for Odinga that Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua went on Kenyan television on behalf of Kenyan President Kibaki to object that Obama was meddling inappropriately in Kenyan politics, as WND reported.

WND further reported documentary evidence that Obama contributed nearly $1 million to the ODM in support of Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign. An ODM campaign accounting document that listed the contribution as coming from “Friends of Senator BO.”


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