Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Ethiopia, China launch UNDP-backed joint renewable energy research, extension center

Addis Ababa, June 26, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopia and China on Monday launched a joint research and extension center supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to fast-track renewable energy development in Ethiopia.

The Joint Research and Extension Center is expected to serve as a research, training and demonstration platform to enhance the capacity to access renewable energy technologies and facilitate the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

While addressing the launch of the event, Ethiopian State Minister of Water and Energy Sultan Wali underscored the need to strengthen cooperation among Ethiopia, China and the UNDP on the exploitation of renewable energy resources. “We are reinforcing our bilateral cooperation through laying a structural foundation for our next generation in starting a research and renewable energy development center,” Sultan said.

The state minister also emphasized the importance of cooperation with China under the South-South framework, with particular emphasis on the development of renewable energy sources. “The South-South cooperation framework is an opportunity to bring China’s experience in biogas and solar (energy) to address Ethiopia’s energy needs for productive use. It helps to coordinate and drive China’s know-how and experience toward national development goals in Ethiopia,” he said.

With financial support from the Ministry of Commerce of China, the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia (MoWE), the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, an affiliated entity of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and China Agricultural University (CAU) is implementing a “Biogas, Biomass and Solar Trilateral Cooperation Project (Transitioning to Sustainable Energy Uses in the Agro-Industry) Project.” The project primarily envisaged supporting renewable energy technology dissemination and scale-up for Ethiopia’s climate-resilient growth.

The Joint Research and Extension Center, as one of the project deliverables, was established among the MoWE, CAU, and Ethiopia’s Wolaita Sodo University. During the launch of the event, the three institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the joint center.

UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative Cleophas Torori extolled the UNDP’s “long-standing” partnership with China and Ethiopia.

He said as part of the efforts to bridge the energy access gaps and achieve the energy and climate targets in Ethiopia, the UNDP, in cooperation with China, is supporting the Ethiopian government in implementing the South-South cooperation initiative, with a focus on the renewable energy trilateral cooperation project.

“In Ethiopia, we remain committed to helping the country realize the transition to a jobs-rich green economy through renewable energy solutions, tapping into the collaboration with the government of China,” Torori said.

Chen Qizhen, deputy director general of the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, said despite the challenges and uncertainties around the globe, the South-South cooperation framework is playing an increasingly important role.

“As the supplement to the traditional North-South cooperation, the new model of South-South and trilateral cooperation injects fresh impetus to solidarity and cooperation, and ensures mutual benefit and common development among developing countries,” Chen said.

Yang Yihang, minister counselor for economic and commercial affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, expressed the Chinese government’s commitment to assisting renewable energy development in Ethiopia under the South-South cooperation framework.

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