Dubai-based Amea Power has signed two agreements at the COP28 climate conference to develop renewable energy projects in Africa.
The company plans to construct a USD 600 million wind farm in Ethiopia, capable of producing 300 megawatts of energy.
Amea Power is currently in discussions with the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to secure financing for the project.
Ethiopia heavily relies on hydropower and aims to increase its capacity to 13.5 gigawatts by 2040 to meet rising electricity demand. Amea Power’s wind project will be located in Aysha, near Djibouti’s port.
Additionally, the company has partnered with Zimbabwe’s state-owned power utility, Zesa, to develop a solar plant, starting with 30 megawatts and expanding based on demand. The cost of the Zimbabwe project is estimated at approximately USD one million per megawatt. Zimbabwe aims to increase its power generation capacity to 17,000 megawatts by 2030.
These projects may be part of a USD 4.5 billion clean energy investment initiative in Africa launched by the UAE. Africa requires USD 2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement its climate commitments. The International Solar Alliance is also seeking to raise USD 100 million for decentralized solar projects in Africa.
Severe floods ravage eastern Africa, threatening more hunger: WFP
Devastating floods threaten to worsen food insecurity across eastern Africa as heavy rains lash a region that less than a year ago was in the grips of drought, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The region, which recently experienced a severe drought, is now being hit by heavy rains due to climate change.
Five consecutive failed rainy seasons from 2020 to 2022 led to widespread food insecurity and malnutrition, affecting millions of people. The ongoing floods are further destroying property, infrastructure, crops, and livestock, and have caused numerous casualties.
Approximately three million people have been affected, with over 1.2 million forced to leave their homes. Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are the hardest-hit countries, followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, and Uganda. The heavy rains are expected to continue until early 2024.
The WFP has provided food and cash assistance to nearly 580,000 flood-affected people in the Horn of Africa, in addition to ongoing relief operations. In Somalia and Burundi, anticipatory assistance was provided to 230,000 people before the floods, enabling them to prepare and mitigate the impact.
In Ethiopia, above-average rainfall has caused flooding in southern and south-eastern region, affecting an estimated 1.5 million people.
The WFP is supporting governments and partners with logistics services but emphasizes the need for more support and resources to reach an additional two million flood-affected individuals.
WFP Regional Director in Eastern Africa, Michael Dunford, calls for developed nations to step up and assist countries like Somalia and Ethiopia, which are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
He emphasizes the importance of climate action focused on preparedness and protection before predictable shocks occur. Dunford urges action to break the cycle of recurring crises.
Committee orders investigation into environmental impact of flower farming
The standing committee on government expenditure management and control of the House of People’s Representatives has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct an independent investigation into the environmental effects of flower farming development.
In a meeting last week, the Committee discussed the findings of the previous fiscal year’s operational audit, which examined the effectiveness of the Ministry’s flower farm development and environmental management system.
The deputy chairperson of the Standing Committee, ArareMosisa, highlighted that floriculture is the country’s second-highest income-generating sector, next to coffee.
However, she pointed out that there are no specific operational guidelines for the flower industry. Arare emphasized the need for an in-depth study of the environmental damage caused by the development of flower farms, suggesting that independent bodies should be involved in this investigation.
The purpose of this investigation is to identify the associated problems and take the necessary measures to address them. Arare highlighted that the Ministry should submit an action plan regarding this matter to the standing committee and relevant authorities by December 10, 2023.
Chinese, Ethiopian education institutions agree to promote skills development in technology
China’s Tianjin University of Technology and Education (TUTE) and Ethiopia’s Technical and Vocational Training Institute (TVTI) have signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen skills development focusing on technological advancement.
The agreement, which was signed Tuesday at the Chinese-funded Ethiopian Luban Workshop on the premises of the TVTI in Addis Ababa, envisaged further augmenting the capabilities of the Ethiopian Luban Workshop.
BirukKedir, director-general of TVTI, said during the occasion that the agreement is a vivid example of China’s commitment to upgrading the knowledge of technology and engineering in the East African country. He says the two parties signed an agreement to strengthen their cooperation through the Luban Workshop, “which is an important platform to help Ethiopia fill the gap.”
He said TVTI, through the Luban workshop, has been offering technology-oriented practical training to trainers and technicians, in which the latest accord will further strengthen the cooperation between TVTI and TUTE and increase Luban Workshop’s reach.
During the occasion, TUTE donated much-needed technological equipment and innovation kits to TVTI. The two sides also inaugurated the China-Africa (Ethiopia) competitions on industrial robotics technology application for university students.
TUTE Board Chair Zhang Jingang said the agreement is an important step for China and Ethiopia to implement the strategy of building a community with a shared future through collaborating in technical education and executing the projects of the Belt and Road Initiative in the East African country.
Global Black History Center inaugurated in Addis Ababa
The Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Center has officially opened its headquarters in Addis Ababa, marking a significant milestone in the empowerment of Black people and the preservation of their heritage.
The decision to establish the center in Ethiopia recognizes the country’s rich history and enduring contributions to Black history in Africa and beyond.
The center, opened on December 8th, aims to correct distorted narratives, encourage the study of shared history, and promote unity and solidarity among Black communities, according to board member Robin Walker. Another member, John Mathew, also highlighted that the center will document untold stories and foster connections between Africa and the diaspora, promoting mutual respect and understanding.
The center’s establishment acknowledges the importance of Black people telling their own stories and passing on their heritage to future generations.
The president of the Center, TsegayeChemma, stated that the idea of establishing the center has been in the works for over two decades.
The inauguration coincided with the African Union’s commitment to promoting Black heritage and history.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, DemekeMekonnen, welcomed the center as a movement that challenges the status quo and works towards dismantling structures of oppression.
The center is seen as a source of hope, resilience, and empowerment for the Black community, with the full support of the Ethiopian government.
Founded by a dedicated group of experts, the center aspires to reshape the understanding of Black history, amplify Black voices, and ensure that Black contributions are forever recognized and celebrated.
Ethiopia’s first long-range medical drone network established
Ethiopia’s first long-range drone network successfully completed a 30-day project delivering essential medical supplies, including 6,936 vaccine doses, to six remote communities.
The project, funded by Red Lightning and operated by Freight in Time and the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), aimed to improve healthcare delivery in Ethiopia’s hard-to-reach regions.
Australian drone company Swoop Aero’s automated aircraft, Kite, covered distances of up to 240 kilometers, with a three kg payload, before requiring a battery swap.
The drone network, supported by the Global Fund, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service (EPSS), and Freight in Time (FIT), is part of a private-public partnership to enhance last-mile healthcare supply chains. The UPS Foundation and GAVI have provided financial support for the initiative since 2022, committing an additional USD one million through 2024.
The positive response from local communities highlights the success of the collaborative effort, which combines innovation, technology, and community engagement to save lives and improve healthcare access. Due to its success, an expansion of the medical drone network has been approved, with plans to double its size in early 2024.
The ongoing efforts of organizations like Red Lightning, Swoop Aero, FIT, INSA, EPSS, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are crucial in ensuring the effective operation and sustainability of the drone network, furthering the goal of delivering healthcare resources promptly even to the most remote clinics.
Ethiopia expresses desire to see more US companies in country’s economy
State Minister of Finance, SemeretaSewasew received John D.Calhoun, CEO of Integrated Management Services (IMS), and his team,a full-service consulting, engineering, management and operations firm assisting public and private clients to improve the environment and public infrastructure, focused on strengthening partnerships on infrastructure.
On the occasion, the State Minister welcomed the team and briefed them about the ongoing development efforts and a need to engage US private sectors in the economy.
The IMS on their part have expressed their intention to participate in development activities in the country by opening an office in Addis Ababa.They further expressed enthusiasm to participate in engineering space and promised to take initial conversation with the American EXIM Bank to the next level.
Semereta on her part expressed her and the government’s wish to see more US companies engage in Ethiopia and urged the company to take this opportunity and discuss the initiative further.
Africa Finance Corporation, Development Bank sign $350 million credit for infrastructure
The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a USD 350 million long-term line of credit to support urgently needed financing for infrastructure projects to underpin sustainable development and economic growth across Africa.
The agreement, signed on December 4 during the COP 28 Summit, aims to provide crucial financing for infrastructure projects across Africa, supporting sustainable development and economic growth on the continent.
Under this collaboration, the AFC will be able to mobilize additional resources to continue developing infrastructure projects in key sectors such as power, transportation, telecommunications, and natural resources. These projects are essential for addressing Africa’s infrastructure deficit and creating new opportunities for economic prosperity.
Sanjeev Gupta, AFC Board Member and Executive Director of Financial Services, highlighted the significance of the long-term funding, stating that it would unlock Africa’s economic potential, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Africans.
Solomon Quaynor, vice president for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization at the AfDB, emphasized the shared commitment between the two institutions to catalyzing sustainable development in Africa. He expressed optimism that the partnership would contribute to economic empowerment, infrastructure growth, and a brighter future for the continent.
By pooling their resources and expertise, the AFC and AfDB, as leading multilateral institutions, aim to drive rapid industrialization, generate employment opportunities for Africa’s youth, add value to raw materials, and stimulate overall economic expansion.
The Bank became a shareholder in the AFC in 2018, leading to joint investments in transformative infrastructure projects across Africa. Most recently, both institutions, along with the US, EU, and the governments of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Lobito Corridor expansion. The AFC has been appointed as the lead project developer for this initiative.