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Ethiopia Launches Electrification Program to Reach Universal Access by 2025

electricThe government of Ethiopia has launched National Electrification Program (NEP) to reach universal access by 2025, using both on-grid and off-grid solutions. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn launched the program today at Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program and Mission Electrification Workshop.

The PM said on the occasion access to adequate, reliable and affordable electricity service is a critical enabler to Ethiopia’s transformation into a middle income country and the wellbeing of its citizens.

Without universal access to electricity, the country will not achieve its national transformation programs or the target to become a middle income country by 2025, Hailemariam elaborated. This program will enable the country to reach its target ahead of the goal of UN to adequate, reliable and affordable electricity for all in 2030.

Through the first phase (2018-2022) of the program, 4.5 million new grid connections are anticipated, water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister Dr. Sileshi Bekele said. The program will be realized in collaboration with multilateral and bilateral financial institutions and development partners, according to the Minister.

The program requires investment and technical assistance of about USD 1.5 billion expected to be covered by the government, multilateral and bilateral financial institutions and development partners as well as the private sector.

Ethiopia’s grid coverage is at present about 60 percent, but only 25 percent of households have access to electricity from the grid, leaving 60 million people unconnected, it was learned. Dr.Sileshi stated that connectivity to individual households has not kept pace with the rapid network expansion, despite significant improvements during GTP I in terms of transmission and infrastructure.

Thus, NEP is the government’s action plan for archiving universal electricity access nationwide by 2025, using both on-grid and off-grid solutions. World Bank Country Director, Carolyn Turk said Ethiopia had great success in infrastructure and improving service delivery to its citizens especially in the areas of health and education.

Despite major achievements, a lot of works still remain especially in access to electricity for all which is the key to improving product and productivity to its citizens, the Country Director noted.

The World Bank is ready to continue its support to the government of Ethiopia to realize its ambitious national electrification program, she revealed, adding that it could extend 375 million USD in credit for the program.

The country is to generate over 14,000 MW upon the completion of ongoing projects.