Catalyzing South-South Cooperation on RET

June 26, 2023

Addis Ababa, 26 June 2023: The Ministry of Water and Energy, China Agricultural University, and the University of Wolaita Sodo have signed an agreement of understanding to set up a joint research and extension centre on renewable energy technologies.

The Wolaita Sodo University will house the joint research and extension centre, which will serve as a dynamic research, training, and demonstration platform and foster both China and Ethiopia to engage and cooperate in renewable energy technologies. The center will also set the foundation for a productive and sustained partnership and ensure the project’s long-term sustainability as it scales up.

The join center is one of the investments coming out of a south-south trilateral cooperation framework on renewable energy technologies that brings together Ethiopia, China, and Sri Lanka to scale up their climate-resilient agenda. Through the south-south framework, the countries come together to jointly design, and implement. The project is funded by the Ministry of Commerce of China, with co-financing by Ethiopia's Ministry of Water and Energy, as well as UNDP.

A delegation from China, representing the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST-ACCA21) and the China Agricultural University (CAU) will visit Wolaita Sodo University for a two-day workshop to share lessons on RET and kickstart the set up of the joint research and extension centre. 

State Minister Sultan Wali, Ministry of Water and Energy, highlighted that the south-south cooperation presented an opportunity to leverage China's expertise in biogas and solar energy to address Ethiopia's energy needs for productive use and meet national development goals.

The trilateral cooperation in Ethiopia, implemented through a UNDP-supported project (2021-2023), focuses on access to technology, skills and learning around biogas, biomass and solar use for households and agro-industry.

The south-south cooperation project's US$ 2,042,394.00 funding is co-financed by China, Ethiopia, and UNDP, and contributes to Ethiopia achieving the SDGs, namely goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), goal 13 (Climate Action) and goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), as well as goal 5 (Gender Equality).

UNDP Ethiopia Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Cleophas Torori, praised the long-standing partnership, noting, "In Ethiopia, we remain committed to helping the country realize the transition to a jobs-rich green economy through renewable energy solutions, tapping into the collaboration with the government of China".

Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of China in Ethiopia, Mr Yang Yihang affirmed his government's commitment to supporting renewable energy development in Ethiopia under the South-South cooperation framework. 
Deputy Director General of the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, Ministry of Science and Technology of China Mr Chen Qizhen, highlighted the increasingly important role of the South-South cooperation framework in ensuring mutual benefits, as well as overcoming global challenges and uncertainties.

So far, more than 50,000 people have benefited from five trials and demonstrations of biogas and solar energy access in Amhara, Harari and SNNP regions, focusing on students and households in rural areas.