Promoting South-South Cooperation in Renewable Energy: Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and China

July 31, 2019

Ethiopia and Sri Lanka are partnering with China on a trilateral South-South cooperation that will focus on enhancing access to renewable energy technologies within the global commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project seeks to promote sustainable energy solutions by focusing on demonstrating the applicability of biogas and solar photovoltaic technologies for communities in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

Financing for the three-year project comes from the Ministry of Commerce of China with the provision of two million USD, which will be equally shared between Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. UNDP and the Government of Ethiopia are also expected to contribute resources for the implementation of the project. 

Speaking at a workshop bringing together stakeholders ahead of the launch later this year, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative Mr. Turhan Saleh said, “As we support Ethiopia to improve access to renewable energy mix, we help the country to promote a climate resilient green economy and foster inclusive growth that is strongly gender sensitive as women and children bear the brunt of a country’s energy challenge.“

Stakeholders from the three countries met in Addis Ababa on 31 July 2019 for an inception workshop organized by UNDP and the Government of Ethiopia. Speaking on behalf of the State Minister of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr. Frehiwot Woldehana, Mr. Gossaye Mengiste noted Ethiopia’s vision to close the energy gap by 2025 by providing access to clean renewable energy to its citizens.

Mr. Harsha Wickramasinghe, Deputy Director-General, Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority underlined that, “Close technical cooperation between countries could be the key to acquire sustainable energy technologies for developing countries.  It will speed up the dissipation of technologies vital for the global energy transition.  This project could be a good start for similar actions all over the developing world”.

Participants also explored how to draw up plans of action to address question around barriers to access to energy solutions; tackle issues around sustainability in terms of production and consumption; and how to scale up on market access opportunities. The event also helped to share lessons from China’s experience on renewable energy technologies.

Madam Liu Yu, Minister Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs of the People’s Republic of China to Ethiopia stressed China’s progressive role as one of the major funders of renewable energy technologies and green economy globally.  She also reiterated Ethiopia – China regular partnership in Multilateral Cooperation that will help Ethiopia benefit from technical and financial support in renewable energy technologies that is essential for achieving the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The high-level event also facilitated technical dialogues on building partnerships ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in 2021. The Belt and Road initiative was launched by China to promote economic cooperation among countries on a proposed belt and silk road route. 

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UNDP Ethiopia: Ms. Nardos Mengesha, Communications Analyst,  

UNDP China: Ms. Zhang Wei, Chief Communications Officer,