Ethiopia hopes an agreement with Russian State Nuclear Corporation Rosatom to construct the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in the African country will be signed in the Russian resort city of Sochi, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew has stated. "We have an interest in the nuclear power for energy purpose, for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Negotiations are under process, it is not finalised yet, we hope in the coming October the agreement will be signed during the Russia-Africa summit [in Sochi]", Andargachew said.
The statement comes after Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia Alemayehu Tegenu said in August that Addis Ababa and Moscow were close to finishing the negotiations on constructing the first NPP in Ethiopia with Rosatom’s participation.
In mid-April, Ethiopia and Rosatom signed a three-year road map on cooperation in the Russian resort city of Sochi. The African nation currently has no nuclear power plants and generates electricity using hydropower, wind, solar and biothermal power, as well as biofuel.
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the International Solar Alliance last October, he applauded the goal of mobilizing about $1 trillion dollars towards the deployment of some 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030. “It is clear,” he said, “that we are witnessing a global renewable energy revolution.” That revolution is also taking place under the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) which has embarked on a highly ambitious solar project to make Africa a renewable power-house, titled “Desert to Power (DtP) Initiative”.
This project is expected to stretch across the Sahel region by tapping into the region’s abundant solar resource. The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of energy poverty. Currently, 64% of the Sahel’s population – covering Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea – lives without electricity, a major barrier to development, with consequences for education, health and business. The AfDB has rightly pointed out that lack of energy remains a significant impediment to Africa’s economic and social development.
The Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty (GCEEP) to address one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: the lack of access to electricity for almost a billion people across the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The GCEEP is an acceleration of The Rockefeller Foundation’s work on energy poverty and will fast-track sustainable power solutions, investments, and partnerships that will deploy globally over the next decade.
The launch announcement follows the first full convening of Commissioners at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, on September 10. The Commission will operate under the joint chairmanship of The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz, and the Africa Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
Every country aspires to provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity to its citizens. Yet during the past 25 years, some countries made huge strides, while others saw little progress. What accounts for this difference?