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Ethiopia-Kenya power link marks a milestone for emerging regional integration: KEREA CEO

Addis Ababa, February 13, 2023 (FBC) – The power link between Ethiopia and Kenya is an exemplary step that marks a milestone for the emerging regional economic integration, CEO of Kenyan Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), Andrew Amadi said.

In an exclusive interview with Fana Broadcasting Corporate, KEREA CEO said that the Ethiopia – Kenya integration through the energy system is progressing on the right track, and the regional power pool is going to incorporate other East African countries such as Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and DRC.

“The construction of the Ethiopia-Kenya power transmission has been completed successfully and the testing operation has started as Ethiopia will be supplying 200 MW of electricity to the Kenyan National Grid. This is an encouraging step heralding the growing connectivity among countries of the region,” Amadi noted.

The power connectivity at regional level creates a fertile ground for the Lamu Port – South Sudan – Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) project which is aimed to link regional countries on land and facilitate movement of goods across the continent. 

“Kenya, through importing electricity from Ethiopia, can reduce the cost of energy. It is cheaper. The 200MW energy it imports from Ethiopia can help Kenya to save billions of dollars in a year with three hours a day usage. Power export in return generates income for Ethiopia. This is a good example for economic integration,” Andrew Amadi explained.

“Refrigerating and cooling is necessary for health and agriculture centers. Data storage centers need a great deal of cooling systems. All this implies how electricity is a necessary component of Africa’s development endeavors,” he said. 

Job creation, food security and investment goals can be achieved through sufficient supply of electricity. In some countries of Africa joblessness is directly related to lack of electricity therefore such a social problem can be addressed through facilitating sustainable power alternatives, he stated. 

Africa’s development aspirations can not be achieved without ample use of electricity. Countries should work not only to address the demand but also to create a demand that would spur their economic growth. Therefore, the energy sector should be prioritized by all nations in the continent, he added.

Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA) Director-General, Abel Didier Tella, for his part, said enough investment on the energy sector is the right way for Africa to pull 600 million people in the continent out of poverty.

He called on African nations to give prior attention for the energy sector and utilize immense resource so as to address the growing power demand in all development sectors.

Ethiopia has started exporting electric power to Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya and South Sudan will be the next recipient.

By: Wondesen Aregahegn

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