Electricity provision has never been an issue Ethiopia has been able to solve. And with the inclusion of more power consuming projects, like the Industrial Parks in different parts of the country, the problem is unlikely to abate soon. But in discussing the shortage of electricity, it is critical to note that there are those who have no access to it, to begin with. Rural electrification projects are just as essential to the country's development goals, by way of improving domestic resource mobilisation and creating job opportunities, as most of the government's economic agendas, if not more.
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The European Union (EU) on Wednesday launched its energizing development program to provide support and solutions for a wide range of energy demands in Ethiopia.The program is part of the agreement reached in 2017 between the EU, the core donors of German Development Cooperation’s Energizing Development (EnDev) programme and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, together with the government of Ethiopia, to fund the existing Energizing Development activities in Ethiopia with an additional budget of €10.35 million.
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A recent research paper by (SEforALL AND Power For All, 2017) puts the Energy Access Dividend for Ethiopia the following way.
The Government of Ethiopia has a target to deliver access to connect 90 percent of towns and villages to the grid by 2020. The electrification rate to achieve this 2020 target has been extrapolated forward and indicates that universal access could be achieved in 2031 if progress were to continue at this rate.
Today we’re able to build self-driving trucks, to communicate with smart humanoids, and to play video games with virtual reality technologies. Yet there are 1.06 billion people living without access to electricity across the world (IEA and World Bank, 2017). That’s one in every five people, most of them living in rural Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, they rely on kerosene, candles, and battery torches for essential lighting.