INTERVIEW: UNDP hails partnership with China in promoting renewable energy in Ethiopia

UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative Cleophas Torori

UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative Cleophas Torori

ADDIS ABABA, July 1 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has hailed its partnership with China in promoting affordable renewable energy in the Global South, highlighting a project with Ethiopia.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative Cleophas Torori underscored the importance of an innovative project that the UNDP and the government of China are working together to expand access to renewable energy in Ethiopia.

The project, entitled “Biogas, Biomass, and Solar Trilateral Cooperation – Transitioning to Sustainable Energy Uses in the Agro-industry between China and Ethiopia,” aimed to promote the transfer of renewable energy technology to Ethiopia. “We are very privileged to be working in support of this trilateral partnership under a framework that we value at the UNDP, which is promoting South-South Cooperation,” said Torori. Torori said the project has been implemented based on the technological advancement that China, in particular, made in recent years with regard to the renewable energy development sector.

“China is advanced in some of the technologies that Ethiopia, as a developing country, could very much benefit from under the South-South cooperation framework and that is what this project is about,” he said.

According to a recent UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, Ethiopia has one of the biggest electricity access deficits. The report highlighted that the top 20 access-deficit countries account for 81 percent of the global population without access to clean technology and fuels. The East African country is currently implementing a 10-year development plan that articulates a commitment to universal access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy by 2030.

Torori said the trilateral project is mainly aimed at reducing the burden and closing the gap of energy access, particularly in the rural parts of Ethiopia, where energy deficits exist. “There is a lot that is happening under this project (in terms of) expanding access to renewable energy in Ethiopia.”

The project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly concerning Goal 7 on promoting affordable, clean, renewable energy access, and Goal 17 on promoting partnerships, he said, adding that “there is no partnership other than what we have here.”

As part of the UNDP-supported project, Ethiopia and China have recently launched a Joint Research and Extension Center, which is expected to serve as a research, training and demonstration platform to enhance the capacity to access renewable energy technologies in Ethiopia and facilitate the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He said the unique partnership is building a critical mass of experts that can manage and sustain similar initiatives in the future. “We have come a long way under the trilateral project,” Torori said.

He emphasized the need to further strengthen the partnership so as to reduce poverty and improve the livelihoods of people in the developing world. Noting that the project is expected to benefit up to 50,000 households in Ethiopia once it is fully completed, Torori said “This is extremely important because here we have an opportunity to learn from the knowledge exchange and technical input from China and we have a critical mass of Ethiopians that have begun to be trained (through the project).”

To Top