The East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (EACREEE) and the International Centre for Hydropower (ICH) of Norway have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation on Capacity Building for Sustainable of Small Hydropower Development in East Africa. The MoU was signed by the ICH Managing Director Ms. Line Amlund Hagen and EACREEE Interim Executive Director Prof. Mackay Okure on 26th April 2019 and 17th May 2019, respectively.
The MoU aims to deepen mutual cooperation on the promotion of sustainable small hydropower development in the EAC region. The areas of cooperation identified in the MoU include the following:
Capacity building and knowledge transfer, strengthen skills within national and regional policy, regulatory, legal and institutional frameworks in support of small hydropower development
Joint preparation, appraisal and implementation of capacity building programmes for project proposals located in the EAC region where appropriate subject to financial resources;
Jointly mobilise funding, wherever feasible for skills development and knowledge transfer for EAC partner States;
Build human, institutional and corporate capacities at regional, national and local level to foster the development and implementation of small hydropower projects;
Collaboration in organizing of technical workshops, conferences and training courses on small hydropower development in cooperation with East African, regional and international partners;
Within the framework of the MoU, EACREEE and ICH now intend to work with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other partners to develop and implement a programme to provide competence in specialized areas such as resource assessment and hydrology, feasibility studies, engineering and design, financing, installation as well as operation and maintenance of small hydropower plants.
The cooperation framework includes also south-south and triangular cooperation on small-hydro power under the umbrella of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC), coordinated by UNIDO in partnership with various regional economic communities. Synergies to the small hydro power program implemented by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) will be created. Triangular cooperation with UNIDO´s International Centre for Small Hydro-Power (ICSHP) in China will be stablished. Currently, the center works on the finalization and dissemination of technical guidelines and ISO standards for small hydro power development.
EACREEE-ICH collaboration begun in early 2018. In November 2018, they conducted a joint East African Regional Training Course on Operation and Maintenance of Small-scale Hydro Power Plants (SHPP). The course was hosted by the UNIDO-sponsored Centre for Mini-Hydropower (CMHP) located at the College of Technology, University of Dar es Salam. The objective of the course was to enhance the competence of the specialized aspect of operation and maintenance of hydropower station including basics of the electro-mechanical equipment, upkeep, operation and maintenance during the operation of the plant. ICH recruited the experts that facilitated the training course – cost-free to EACREEE. The course was attended by 27 participants (2 of them females) from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.