Celebrating Ethiopia's Enterprises : Renewable Energy Technologies for the Rural CommunityMay 3, 2018
Fourteen enterprises from across Ethiopia have been selected to receive small grants for their promotion of renewable energy technologies for household and productive use, particularly in the rural areas.
Each enterprise was given US 5,000 at a special ceremony held in Addis Ababa following the first round of national competition open to enterprises from all regions that attracted 47 submissions. The jury included staff from Ministry of Water Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE), Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoFECC), Ministry of Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), Federal Small and Medium Manufacturing Industries Development Agency, Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency, Addis Ababa University, Bahir Dar University, Hawassa University and Mekele University.
“Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are recognized as significant generators of jobs and play particularly significant role in relation to enhancing the competitiveness and productivity of RET in the country” noted MOWIE State Minister Dr. Friehiwot W/Hanna highlighting the focus on the private sector.
The grant is part of a wider five-year project on Promoting Sustainable Rural Energy Technologies (RETs) for Household and Productive Use and is in line with the global Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. It also complements national priorities, such as those encompassed within the Ethiopia’s energy policy as well as climate resilient green economy strategy.
“There is no doubt that renewable energy is key for Ethiopia’s transformation – especially given the fact that the country has the second highest population number in Africa and the fastest growing economy,” according to Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative & UN Humanitarian Coordinator.
The UNDP supported project is implemented by MoWIE in collaboration with MoFECC, the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and UNCDF. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is channeling US$4.1 million in financing through UNDP.
Ethiopia currently has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and is also second most populous country in the continent with both factors making addressing energy needs a top priority.
Almost 90% of Ethiopia’s current energy consumption comes mostly from biomass energy sources such as fire wood and charcoal. More than 18 million Ethiopian households need to switch to improved cooking technologies for the country to be able to capture major carbon abatement potential.
Through the support of this project, approximately 800,000 households, around four million people will, by 2020, be targeted by the current project so that they benefit from investments in small-scale solar home system products and improved cook-stoves technologies.
The project seeks to accelerate the adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) through:
· Strengthening regulatory and legal framework based on national standards;
· Business incubator that will promote greater entrepreneurship for investment in RETs; and
· Helping the energy sector access to sustainable financial mechanism for RETs, such as through establishing credit risk guarantee fund, by partnering with UNCDF clean-start initiative and Development bank of Ethiopia
· Create public demand and utilization of these RETs through awareness campaigns.
Ethiopia’s commitment to the energy sector is ambitious as it seeks to become a renewable energy hub of excellence in East Africa.Programme Analyst