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By Godfrey Olukya 14-02012

The very first stakeholders’ meeting for the geothermal risk mitigation facility for Eastern Africa is taking place at AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Countries in eastern Africa, including Kenya,Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Eritrea have plans to start using geothermal as source of energy in future. They all have official attending the meeting.

The meeting, organized by the African Union Commission department of Infrastructure and energy, which took the initiative in the framework of the regional geothermal programme opened on Friday and will last for a week..

The geothermal risk mitigation facility for eastern Africa was established by the African Union commission, German Federal ministry
for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.

The African union commission was reportedly mandated by the ministers of energy of the East African Rift System to develop and to
coordinate a regional geothermal program to promote power generation especially Renewable Energy.

The mandate given to the African Union Commission in the Addis Ababa Declaration on Geothermal Energy, in June June, 2009 included establishment of regional road map, policy guidelines including institutional and regulatory framework and regional Geothermal Coordination Unit.

A member on the meeting organizing committee, Benjamin Ligo said, ‘Among the objectives of this meeting is to come up with ways of
encouraging individuals and companies to start investing in geothermal related ventures.’

He said that they want public and private sector developers to start getting interested so that they provide them partial grants for
surface studies leading to drilling and for reservoir confirmation drilling in order to mitigate the risk associated with geothermal
resource exploration.

Initially, geothermal risk mitigation facility will support geothermal activities in the pilot countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Other countries may become eligible for that funding in a later phase if additional funds become available.

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