East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting encouraging Geothermal Investment commences at the African Union Headquarters
The East Africa Donors’ Coordination meeting commenced on Monday 13th June 2016. H.E Dr. Elham M Ibrahim, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy met with Ambassadors, Gary Quince the Head of the EU delegation to the AU, H.E Mr. Bruce Shepherd of New Zealand, H.E Mr. Thomas Terstegen, Deputy Head of Mission of Germany, Deputy Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Ministers responsible for energy and Ambassadors of the East African Rift System (EARS) countries, representatives of donors, representatives of development partners, experts of Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) beneficiaries ‘and countries, public and private sector. To encourage further geothermal investments and improve access to equity or other funding sources and thus play a catalytic role in establishing geothermal energy as a strategic option in power expansion planning of Eastern Africa.
As it was the first meeting of its kind ever to hold at the African Union, Commissioner Elham Ibrahim expressed her warm regards to delegates present and to the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) team for organizing a gathering that thrives to encourage public and private investors to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa. Dr. Elham noted that it is more than ever important to increase the deployment of geothermal projects so as to increase the rate of energy access in Africa especially with the growing population. This she said can be achieved with reliable and competitively priced modern energy such as geothermal.
Dr. Elham also highlighted Agenda 2063 and the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) noting that on the road to achieve an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, the first ten year plan where energy is taken to be one of the major enabling aspects has been elaborated
”It is our responsibility as a continent to work together join hands and coordinate our efforts to develop our short , medium and long term plans to efficiently exploit the resources thereby satisfy the continents energy needs”; she concluded
H.E Mr. Bruce Shepherd Ambassador of New Zealand to Ethiopia spelled out New Zealand’s contribution to East Africa as countries in the region seek to strengthen their domestic and renewable energy generation and sustainably develop one of the world’s most significant geothermal resources. On this he said that New Zealand will make available its well-developed policy, hard and soft tools, and cutting edge technology as well as expertise of over 60 years in Geothermal energy,
Ambassador Bruce also underscored the African Union Code of Practice for Geothermal Drilling, a product which is the result of a unique collaboration between New Zealand and the African Union. The Code of Practice will allows for explorations of new modes of sustainable energy, particularly in this era of climate change
Ambassador, Gary Quince the Head of the EU delegation said that Geothermal is a course strong potential contribution to renewable energy development in Africa. With the growing population he said that geothermal energy is a unique option as it provides base load alternative with high capacity factor to fossil fuel based electricity generation thus deemed environmentally friendly
He noted that the aim of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility is to reduce barriers for investment while attracting public and private partners to invest in geothermal power
Deputy Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called upon the 11 eligible countries of the Risk Mitigation facility for energy which are Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and Zambia to strongly consider geothermal investment saying that if utilized to full potential , it can provide sustainable energy system for these countries
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).