ETHIOPIA: $104m in financing to strengthen electricity system in east of the country

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ETHIOPIA: $104 million in funding to strengthen the electricity system in the east © Miles Astray/Shutterstock

The Ethiopian government has obtained $104 million in financing from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of Korea and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to strengthen the power supply in the east of the country.

Addis Ababa has just received funding of €104 million for electricity transmission in the east of the country. The funding is being provided in equal parts by the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, and Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), “under the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework Agreement”, says the AfDB.

The funding will support the authorities’ efforts to strengthen electricity transmission in the eastern part of the country. To this end, 157 km of 400 kilovolt double-circuit transmission line will be installed. Substations will also be built in Harar, Jijiga and Fafem. For the AfDB, strengthening electricity transmission in the east of the country is a vector for development.

Supplying irrigation systems

Batchi Baldeh, the AfDB’s Director of Power Systems Development, believes that “improving the electricity network in the east of the country will make it possible to remedy power failures and load shedding in the region, connect more industries and households to the electricity network and eliminate the use of diesel generators, which currently provide a basic supply of electricity”.

Read also- ETHIOPIA: Addis Ababa grants the first ever commercial mini-grid licence

The availability of electricity should also support the implementation of the Regional Agricultural Irrigation Programme. The Ethiopian government’s initiative aims to deploy irrigation systems on at least 462,174 hectares of farmland in a region beset by drought. Strengthening the electricity transmission system will also pave the way for the sale of electricity to Somalia, a country in the Horn of Africa that does not yet have a unified electricity network because of the civil war that has been raging there since 2006.

Ethiopia wants to become the energy powerhouse of East Africa through the construction of huge infrastructures, notably the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which will have a capacity of 5,250 MW, equivalent to the installed capacity of a country like Ghana (5,326 MW). Ethiopia already exports its electricity to Djibouti.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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