EEG MoWIE policy workshop, Addis Ababa

MoWIE and energy organisations explore the policy implications of six energy-related research projects being carried out in Ethiopia

On May 7-8 2019, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) met with Ethiopian energy organisations and international development teams and researchers at a policy engagement workshop held in Addis Ababa. The event explored the policy implications of six energy-related research projects currently being carried out in Ethiopia through the Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) research programme.

Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), EEG produces research on the links between energy and economic growth in low-income countries. Its research aims to galvanise investment in more sustainable, efficient, reliable and fair energy systems. EEG has developed a country programme for Ethiopia; highly targeted at specific countries, this type of research aims to help generate the critical evidence needed for policy and investment shifts at a local level.

Six research projects are currently being carried out in Ethiopia. They aim to provide evidence and fill knowledge gaps surrounding electricity demand forecasting in agriculture; productive uses of electricity in agriculture; power quality problems; renewable energy development; the impacts and drivers of policies for electricity access; and energy system modelling.

The two-day policy engagement workshop, organised by EEG, was attended by ministers and other officials from MoWIE, along with representatives from Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethiopian Electric Utility, Ethiopian Energy Authority, DFID, EEG and the research project teams and their partners. Following individual sessions on each project, which included a detailed overview and feedback on integration with government systems, attendees worked together to formulate and agree plans for research uptake, coordination with the government and other stakeholders and data sharing and communication between project teams.

In his keynote speech, Dr Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity at MoWIE, said EEG has the opportunity to create a nexus for energy research in Ethiopia and a platform for shared learning.

Yacob Mulugetta, the academic lead for EEG’s Ethiopia country programme, said: “Expanding energy access and securing reliable energy services is fundamental to the Ethiopian government’s Growth and Transformation Plan, and there are major challenges to overcome. EEG therefore developed a country programme for Ethiopia, and, through close engagement with key government officials and other energy stakeholders, we identified critical knowledge gaps, priorities and research needs, which influenced the project selection.”

EEG is a five-year applied research programme, led by Oxford Policy Management (OPM), which aims to fill knowledge gaps to help bring the benefits of modern energy services to poorer people. Its four main research areas are efficient and productive use, reliability, renewable energy and grid access