Addis Ababa, Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - Power for All organized a collaborative meeting among advocates of Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) at the Ministry of Irrigation and Lowlands (MILLs) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting aimed to bring together development and implementing partners and foundations working within the PURE space, to join forces on addressing obstructs and capacity needs to activate the PURE market potential in Ethiopia.
By providing reliable energy sources, PURE interventions can support economic development and help lift people out of impoverishment and #endenergypovertyfaster. However, implementing PURE interventions can be challenging. There are often significant logistical and technical challenges, as well as challenges related to financing and capacity building. This is why collaboration between development partners, implementing partners, and the government is critical for the success of PURE initiatives.
MILLs has demonstrated how Ethiopian agriculture has been heavily reliant on low levels of technology and diesel-powered pumps for irrigation, resulting in various drawbacks including, but not limited to, high costs, volatility, unavailability of diesel, low productivity, food insecurity, pollution all which lead to the lack of access to water for irrigation. During his presentation, Hizkyas Dufera, Senior Advisor to the Minister presented the ongoing development of the National Irrigation Strategy (NIS) and announced the Ministry’s plan to expand its solar-powered cold storage facilities and hydroponics initiatives.
The ministry is taking steps towards promoting PURE in Ethiopia by expanding existing plans and collaborating with private sector entities. This is an important step because renewable energy has the potential to enhance agricultural practices in Ethiopia by boosting efficiency and sustainability. By leveraging renewable energy to power agriculture, Ethiopia will reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and subsequently contribute to global efforts aimed at tackling climate change. The involvement of senior representatives from the Ministry is a positive development and underscores the importance of collaboration between the private and public sectors in the success of PURE.
Moreover, attendants from the private sector presented their initiatives and ongoing projects that specifically highlight tackling several of the aforementioned challenges.
Overall, several key topics were discussed, such as addressing capacity gaps, carbon markets, securing financing, creating awareness and enhancing agricultural market linkages. The meeting also aimed to identify strategies and potential collaborations to activate the PURE space in Ethiopia and promote the use of renewable energy resources in agriculture and how it can lead to increased productivity and profitability for farmers.
Tesfaye Hailu, Country Director for Power for All in Ethiopia, concluded the meeting with an announcement that Power for All will soon issue a Call for Action inviting private actors, partners, and financiers to participate.