The Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr Sileshi Bekele, has said that African countries involvement in the tapping of energy resources and enhancing of regional cooperation and integration, constitute major factors to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the energy sector by 2030.
The Minister stated this while speaking at the recently held ‘Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue’ (betd21).
Dr Sileshi stated that the cooperation is also to enhance Africa’s global competitiveness and enable countries to avail the energy service at competitive price.
“Accelerating the construction of African energy interconnection will promote cross-border and inter-regional interconnection and strongly ensure reliable and affordable supply of clean energy as a driving force for industrialisation and regional development integration.
As to the minister, fulfilling the above assignment would also be a cornerstone for attaining the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and African Union’s Agenda 2063,” he elaborated.
He highlighted that Ethiopia is properly translating the SDGs to local actions and commendable activities are also underway to utilize the untapped renewable energy potentials.
“Despite the significant progress the country has registered in the energy sector, only 4.5 GW energy is exploited so far and the access rate is not more than 45 percent and the per capita electric consumption is around 100 kwhr per year.”
Dr Sileshi noted that the bulk of Ethiopia’s national energy consumption is made from raw mass resources which poses a binding constraint for its socio-economic development.
To address the challenge, he buttressed, Ethiopia has been executing power sector reform programme that is believed to address financial, organisational, and other impeding factors by capitalising on public-private partnership and development partner’s support.
By the same token, Ethiopia has embarked on ambitious journey to achieve urban and rural electricity access for all in line with the spirit of the 2030 agendas for SDGs.
The minister further said that the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is a very good opportunity for Ethiopia and other African countries to discuss success stories and harness the new energy technologies and business models that should be replicated.
Currently, more than 60 million African people live without electricity, it was learnt.