An alarming decline of water levels in dams across Ethiopia, compounded with a growing demand but limited supply of electricity from the state owned electric power corporation (EEPCo), highly dependent on hydroelectric power, has been blamed for a slowdown in both industrial and commercial activities in the country.
The crippling effect of repeated power shortages on its industry has compelled the Ethiopian government, represented by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MoME), in conjuction with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), to revise the country’s current energy policy to enable it cope with the increasing power demand.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two entities on may 27, 2009.
Updating the country’s biomass energy and renewable energy strategies will be the main input expected from GTZ, owing to its specialty in renewable energies. As part of their cooperation, GTZ will also support the ongoing revision, update the existing national energy policy and develop corresponding energy strategies.
In line with the MoU, assisting experts from the MoME will be involved in the project in order to modernizine the current energy system. GTZ will also be charged with upgrading the ministry’s service delivery capacity.
Ethiopia has obtained financial support from the Netherlands and Germany under the auspices of the global energy development program, through which the GTZ cooperation was obtained.
But according to Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Mines and Energy, financing so far obtained for the project cannot sustain the bilateral program beyond October, 2009, unless further financing is obtained from donors.