Nairobi, 18 September 2019: A 3-day workshop on EAC Bioenergy Development Strategy and Investment Plan officially kicked off at Nairobi Safari Club. The workshop brought together over 30 key stakeholders from the region including ministries responsible for energy and other government institutions involved in the bioenergy sector, the EAC Secretariat, EACREEE, private sector, civil society and academia as well representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC), African Union Development Agency (AUDA) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
In his opening remarks, Mr Peter Kinuthia from the African Union Commission informed the gathering that 'the development of the Bioenergy Development Strategy and Investment Plan builds on the African Bioenergy Framework and Policy Guidelines, which was initiated by AUC in partnership with AUDA and ECA in 2011 and adopted by the African Union (AU) Assembly in 2013. The Framework recognizes various efforts at national and regional levels to promote bioenergy and provides a continental platform to spur further impetus for the implementation of these efforts and lessons learned.'
In 2018, these efforts were augmented when the AUC launched the initiative to develop Regional Bioenergy Development Strategies and Investment Plans for Eastern and Central Africa with the aim of increasing the pace of investments in bioenergy projects considering the bioenergy resources abundant in different regions and the specific circumstances of each region. The regional approach would also benefit from regional implementation structures notably the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Centres for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Regional Centres). “The strategies for Eastern and Central Africa regions have been completed and adopted by the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET) at its meeting held on 14th - 17th April 2019 in Cairo, Egypt", notes Prof. Mosad Elmissiry, Senior Energy Advisor to the CEO AUDA.
The main objective of the workshop is to support the EAC to initiate the process of domestication of the Regional Bioenergy Development Strategy and Investment Plan. The specific objective of the workshop is to seek the validation of the Strategy by the stakeholders from the region in order to pave way for its adoption of the relevant organs of the EAC. “The strategy should set a transformative goal in this important energy sector - a goal sets us on the right course”, emphasized, Prof. Mackay Okure, Interim Executive Director EACREEE.
The workshop is chaired by Mr. Daniel Mulisa, Investment Liaison Specialist at the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda. He noted that ‘this strategy will be very important tool that will guide investment in bioenergy in the region’ and encouraged the participants to have dilligent participation to ensure good quality document.
In his official opening statement, Mr. Dan Marangu, Director Renewable Energy at the Kenya’s Ministry of Energy reiterated the importance of ‘implementation of this strategy with the view of up-scaling projects and programmes and creating programmes to spur bioenergy development in the region.’ He informed the gathering that Kenya is in the process of formulating national bioenergy strategy.
It is expected that once the Strategy is adopted by the EAC it will be integrated into its programmes with budget allocation for coordination activities. Adoption by EAC will also enable resource mobilization for technical and financial assistance to support implementation. “The EAC Secretariat therefore takes the development of this strategy very seriously”, said Mr. Elsam Turyahabwe, Senior Energy Officer at the EAC Secretariat. The report of this workshop together with the domesticated draft strategy will be submitted the EAC Sectoral Council on Energy for adoption.