Ethiopia Plans Full Electrification by 2025

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Addis Ababa September 30/2020 (ENA) Water, Irrigation and Energy Ministry said it plans to fully electrify the country by 2025, a big leap from the current less than 45 percent electricity coverage that leaves more than 60 million in the dark. 

The ministry held today a consultative meeting on the Power Sector Reform Roadmap with key stakeholders.

Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Sileshi Bekele said on the occasion the plan aims to provide electricity for all by combining 65 percent on-grid and 35 percent off-grid power.

“Although the country is endowed with abundant untapped renewable energy resources, the current electric power generated and in use is less than 4,500 megawatt, leaving more than 60 million people with no access to electricity,” the minister noted.

He added that the current power supply of the country is 4,413 MW, making it world’s fifth and Africa’s third least country in terms of provision of electricity.

The country aims to reach a total of 20,000 MW for domestic consumption and export by 2030, Sileshi stated.

According to him, the National Electrification Program was launched in 2017 to fully electrify the country by 2025.

The minister, however, underlined that “this ambitious plan cannot be achieved with the sector’s usual working habit, structure and leadership. The electric power sector has multiple problems, the main ones being lack of strong regulation, financial imbalance, heavy debt burden, ineffective service, public grievance, low accessibility and inequality.”

The Power Sector Reform Roadmap started last year by the ministry and Ministry of Finance in partnership with the World Bank. A study has been submitted to the macroeconomic committee in July, 2020, it was learned.

The roadmap focuses on debt restructuring, cost effective tariff, participation of the private sector, public-private partnership, institutional and regulatory framework reform, and service improvement.

The debt restructuring as a catalyst pillar has been given priority by Ministry of Finance.

Accordingly, the decision is passed that the over 370 billion Birr debt of Ethiopian Electric Power be equally shared with the new Property and Debt Management Corporation to be established by Council of Ministers.

The Ethiopian Electric Utility is properly paying its debt, the minister pointed out.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, which has been responsible in electric power production, transmission and distribution, has been split into Ethiopian Electric Power and Ethiopian Electric Utility.