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EAC Member States to Discuss Renewable Energy Deficits

by Dan Ngabonziza
12:32 pm

The 8Megawatt solar power plant in Rwamagana, eastern Rwanda

Policy makers and experts in renewable energy in East Africa will next week convene in Rwanda’s capital Kigali to push for energy projects in the region.

The forum, organized under the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE), will take place from 19th to 21st March 2018, with aim to foster economic transformation of the EAC Partner States through equitable access to sustainable energy for all.

The Forum will bring together policy makers, experts, civil society and private sector representatives and development partners to share best practices, identify opportunities and challenges, and find solutions to the energy challenges in East Africa.

It will focus on access to energy; roadmap of a sustainable energy future for East Africa; financing sustainable energy projects in the EAC; energy and gender in the EAC region; sustainable city development in the region as well as geothermal energy.

The forum is expected to forge effective partnerships for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 targets that seek to ‘Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all particularly in the EAC Partner States by the year 2030.’

Renewable energy remains with a big gap in East Africa.

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2040, renewable energy will potentially provide more than 40% of all power generation capacity in the region made of Rwanda, Uganda; Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan.

With renewable resources in Africa such as geothermal, wind, hydro and solar energy, IEA data shows that renewables account for less than 2% of the sub-Saharan energy mix.

Speaking to thousands of participants at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Founding Summit in New Delhi – India on March 10th, President Kagame said that the sunniest countries on earth should not lack for energy.

“The fact that they do is unacceptable irony. What is important is that we continue to work together through this new institution and beyond to put our collective resources and knowledge at the disposal of our planet’s future.”

The Kigali forum is organized in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the EAC Secretariat, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Sustainable Energy For All (SEforALL) and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda (MININFRA).

Article 101 of the Treaty that establishes the EAC calls for member States to explore measures to supply affordable energy to the people of the region while taking into account protection of environment.

The Forum, according to organizers, will provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss strategies on the harmonization of renewable energy and efficient energy policies, up scaling financing in different energy projects, among others.

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