A Right Path to Rural Electrification in Africa

Electricity in Sub Saharan Africa is the lowest among all regions of the World. Experts in the area say one of the main challenges in African countries is unstable power grid and 600 million people are living without this basic service. Following this problem, the 27th African Union Submit called on all its member states to pay more attention to rural electrification for sustainable development in African countries.

Addis Ababa Science and Technology University has been working with its partners to mitigate this challenge. One way is to set up clean energy and rural electrification CENTER with the aim of capacity building and technical development by means of technical training seminar organization, joint research and project demonstration.

It is with this view that Addis Ababa Science and Technology University and its Chinese partners organized a seminar on Renewable Energy and Off-grid Hybrid Power System for Eastern African Countries at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University from 12th-14th May, 2017.

The program is attended by Dr. Nurelegne Tefera, President of Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Mr.Chen Ning , Counselor of Chinese Mission to Africa Union,  Dr. Xu Jincai, Director General of Hangzhou Regional Center (Asia-Pacific) for Small Hydro Power, representatives from renewable energy development from  Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania  and other distinguished guests from Chines organizations, Staff from AASTU and students

Speaking on the Occasion, Dr. Nurelegne Tefera, President of AASTU said that the university will continue working with its partners like HRC in the area of capacity building on rural electrification technology. He also said that African countries should work together to look for ways to make electricity available for everyone without necessarily having to go to through the costly and time consuming process of extending the national electric grid.

Mr. Chen Ning, counselor Mission to the African Union, on his part says that the Chinese government officially declares ten (10) areas to work with African countries. Next to Agriculture, energy is among the biggest plan we would like to work with our African brothers and sisters. The opening of this center, he says, will be a good opportunity to young generation to change the place of Africa in the sector of renewable energy. Mr. Chen Ning, also promises to promote the capacity building process and deepen the cooperation and friendship between the two parties.

Including Dr. Xu Jincai, Director general of Hangzhou Regional Center (Asian Pasfic ) for Small Hydro Power  representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania renewable development energy centers  presented the challenges and opportunities of renewable energy in their countries.

Finally, the seminar, passing on minutes of the meeting, has been concluded to do real cooperation on the ground.

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