(Xinhua, 20 April 2018)
The Ethiopian government on Friday revealed that Ethiopia's access to electric power grid system has now reached more than 57 percent. The Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, in its latest report presented to the Ethiopian House of Peoples and Representatives on Friday, indicated that the East African country's access to electric power has reached 57 percent, while the number of households that are connected through the national electric power grid system has reached to 2.8 million. According to Tilahun Legesse, Director of the National Electricity Provision under the ministry, the number of Ethiopian households and the reported percentage level is only attributed to the electric power energy, in which the contribution of other sources of energy would further augment the country's energy coverage.
(Featured Story/World Bank, March 8, 2018)
When it comes to energy, Ethiopia has tremendous advantages. It has the second-highest installed available capacity for electricity generation in Sub-Saharan Africa, at 4.5 GW. It has a well-developed transmission and distribution network, with nearly 80 percent of the population living within proximity of medium-voltage transmission lines. It has abundant sources of renewable energy just waiting to be tapped – including wind, solar and geothermal– enough to easily supply the power needs of the country. And it is one of the few countries in the world where the electric grid is nearly 100 percent supplied by renewable sources.
The electricity access coverage of Ethiopia is still very low, covering only about 30% of the population so to say. To address the energy access challenge of the remaining 70% of the population, the country plans to leverage the capability of the private sector in addition to the efforts of the long practiced public sector led initiatives.
As the country tries new ways of addressing the access challenge, it requires a thorough understanding of the new business models and the new perspectives not only to realize the stated objectives and goals but also manage the downside risks emerging from the new practices.
To assist the developing countries in closing the knowledge gap that existed, development partners wrote and shared handbooks that could help tap the best practices for all the players, the public sector in particular, to benefit from the engagements.
A signing ceremony of two grants Agreements took place at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) between Admasu Nebebe, Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Frederic Bontems, Ambassador of France to Ethiopia and Mr Ignace Monkam-Daverat, the French Agency for Development (AFD) Regional Manager in Addis Abeba, for a total of 18 million euros. The first agreement, a 10 million euros grant will be provided by AFD in contribution to Urban Development will be part of a program co-financed by the World Bank and the government of Ethiopia. The aim is to strengthen the capacity and performance of local urban governments. It will contribute to expand sustainable urban infrastructure and services, as well as to promote local economic development in cities across Ethiopia.
With the second agreement, 8 million euros grant will be provided in contribution to the Tendaho Geothermal Development Project. It is funded by the European Union, through the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF). This investment grant constitutes an additional funding to this project, which already benefited from a 9 million euros concessional loan from AFD and a total of 7,5 million euros from previous EU-AITF grants. The financing will enable to complete the drilling activities planned as part of the geothermal exploration and development effort in the Afar region.