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East Africa: regional energy trade, summit in Nairobi

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by: Andrea Spinelli Barrile | February 28, 2024

The ministers responsible for electricity from East African countries began a three-day meeting yesterday in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to promote regional electricity trade: this is the 18th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Eastern Africa Power pool (Eapp), which brings together senior government officials from 13 African countries to promote regional cooperation in the energy sector. Kenyan newspapers and international agencies report it.

In his opening speech, Davis Chirchir, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, said governments in the region are committed to approving policies, plans and budgets that will help increase grid interconnectivity in the future national electricity supplier of East Africa. Chirchir added that Kenya has already reaped the benefits of regional integration through bilateral framework agreements, including those for the import of 200 MW of renewable energy from Ethiopia and the commitment to an energy exchange with Uganda: “ These initiatives have ensured a reliable energy supply and reduced the risks of electricity outages.”

James Wahogo, Secretary General of EAPP, noted in his speech that significant progress has been made in the implementation of cross-border transmission projects: “EAPP countries currently exchange over 3,400 GWh per year, which represents a great achievement compared to 504 Gwh in 2005”. Wahogo also said there are plans to complete, commission and operate the Egypt-Libya, Egypt-Sudan, Ethiopia-Djibouti electric transmission line.

Sidonius Okaasai Opolot, Uganda’s energy minister, said regional energy trading is designed to move electricity from countries with higher production to countries with deficit production. Opolot said the East African region is now experiencing a new frontier of industrialisation, which has created the need for a reliable and green electricity supply.

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