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UNDP’s Ethiopia and China offices explore collaboration to promote South-South Cooperation

Apr 6, 2017

UNDP’s Ethiopia and China explore collaborations to promote South-South and Trilateral Cooperation

UNDP Resident Representative in China, Mr. Nicholas Rosellini, completed a two-day visit in Ethiopia where he explored future areas of collaborations to help Ethiopia around South-South cooperation.

Mr. Nicholas Rosellini and his team were joined by UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie as they visited UNDP Ethiopia supported interventions at the Sebeta National Biogas project as well as the Bole Lemi Industrial Park.

“UNDP China and UNDP Ethiopia are working jointly on a new trilateral project on biogas and solar energy to be implemented in Sri Lanka, China and Ethiopia,” Mr. Nicholas Rosellini noted. The new South- South Cooperation initiative will be signed in May 2017 and is expected to significantly increase the use of renewable energy technologies in rural communities.

“Programmes on renewable energy echo Sustainable Development Goals as they help not to leave anyone behind on energy. Rural electrification is part of SDGs. We can’t run schools and hospitals without energy,” said Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie on a visit to a household in Sebeta town on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa that uses cow dung to provide power to light the house and for cooking purposes.

Around 89% of Ethiopia’s current energy consumption largely comes from biomass energy sources, such as fire wood and charcoal and contributes to the country’s energy sector Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Over the years, UNDP has partnered with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote the use of renewable energy technologies. This has included providing entrepreneurship training to over 200 enterprises, mostly run by women and youth, working on the production and selling of rural energy technologies (RETs).

The visit also included the Bole Lemi Industrial Park where UNDP China colleagues shared experience of China in the sustainable industrial parks.

Bole Lemi industrial park has so far created employment for more than 13,000 workers in textile and shoe factories. Ethiopia is expected to open 17 integrated agro-industrial parks in the coming years proving employment opportunities for over 400,000 locals and 247 small and medium enterprise (SME) clusters.  The SME are in turn expected to create employment opportunities to over 200,000 Ethiopians.

Ethiopia’s second national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2015-2020) predicts that employment levels in large and medium enterprises will rise from 380,000 to 757,600 by 2019/20, accounting for an average annual growth of 15%.

The industrial sector share of the country’s GDP is growing over the years and has reached 16.7% in 2015/16, while the same period the manufacturing sector and specifically large and medium scale manufacturing sector accounted for 5.4% and 4.4% of GDP respectively.

UNDP has supported Ethiopia to develop its Industrial Zone Development Strategy back in 2012, which has contributed to the development of industrial parks.  UNDP has also supported the development of the integrated agro-industrial parks in four regions, providing technical policy advice, helping build the capacities of regional industrial corporations and facilitating the creation of community awareness on the benefits of the parks.  

UNDP is supporting the industry sector because of its potential to create jobs, especially for youth, facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge and build the capacity of local SME’s underlined UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie. She was speaking at a dialogue session to discuss challenges and opportunities for sustainable agro-industrial park development.

The visit to Ethiopia by officials from UNDP China was part of an organized three country tour in Africa that included Ivory Coast and Ghana.