On June 26, 2018, Power Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Ethiopia, reaffirming commitment to increasing electricity access in Ethiopia through private sector-led projects. Power Africa is a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Launched in 2013, Power Africa aims to add at least 30,000 megawatts (MW) of new electrical power capacity and 60 million electrical connections across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 by unlocking sub-Saharan Africa’s wind, solar, hydropower, gas, geothermal, and other resources.
To help achieve Ethiopia’s goals of expanding access to electricity, Power Africa supports the development of new generation and connections, rehabilitation of the distribution system, self-sufficient utilities, and delivering power to the majority of the population living off-grid.
Power Africa 2.0 MOU with Ethiopia
The MOU ensures alignment toward achieving Power Africa 2.0 objectives, which include advancing sustainable development through private sector led partnerships; promoting economic prosperity; and an increased focus on the enabling environment, transmission, and distribution. Technical assistance includes:
Developing laws and regulations that will facilitate private-sector investments through Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, and biomass generation projects;
- Completing Ethiopia’s initial landmark IPP for the Corbetti and Tulu Moye Geothermal Projects that will generate up to 1,000 MW;
- Supporting Ethiopian Electric Power’s (EEP) use of competitive and transparent procurement process for IPP generation projects;
- Assisting EEP and Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) with the planning, operation, and maintenance of generation, transmission, and distribution systems as the grid is expanded;
- Developing a process for EEU to improve distribution efficiency and assist with introduction of “smart grid technology”;
- Strengthening the ability of Ethiopian Electricity Authority to determine tariff rates, and issue energy licenses and permits; and.
- Supporting the Eastern Africa Power Pool to promote cross border power trade between Ethiopia and other member countries.
The event was attended by Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity, Dr. Engineer Seleshi Bekele, U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Gilbert Kaplan, and USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director, Leslie Reed. At the ceremony, the Ambassador highlighted the importance of sufficient, reliable, and affordable power for the country’s economic growth. He said, “We hope that these efforts will support the ability of key actors in Ethiopia’s power sector to identify strong, reliable partners in the private sector who can bring expertise, quality, and value to energy projects and infrastructure investments”, and added that the memorandum recommits the United States “to work as a partner in helping Ethiopia achieve its goals in energy production and transmission – a key step toward unlocking the rich economic potential we see here.”
The MOU signing follows an announcement from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) of Ethiopian Electric Power’s adoption of a USTDA- funded procurement manual, which will help EEP use life-cycle cost analysis to obtain high-quality, sustainable infrastructure through public procurement.
About Power Africa
To date, Power Africa has mobilized more than $54 billion of commitments from its more than 150 public and private sector partners to achieve its goals. Power Africa has helped 95 projects comprising over 7,892 megawatts MW) reach financial close, including 2,393 MW that are now operational. The 95 projects that have reached financial close are worth more than $15.2 billion. Power Africa has also helped add over 11 million connections, which means more than 50 million people have access to electricity who did not have access prior to Power Africa’s launch.
To learn more, visit www.usaid.gov/powerafrica
Power Africa Contacts for Ethiopia:
Steve Morin, USAID
U.S. Government Coordinator for Power Africa:
Follow on Twitter: @PowerAfricaUS, @AHerscowitz