Ministry Ponders Tax Waivers for Rural Energy Solutions

May 18 , 2024

  Tax exemptions for off-grid energy technologies like solar pumps and mini-grids are under discussion, spearheaded by the Ministry of Water & Energy. Commonly used by rural households, officials disclose their simultaneous plan to develop 300 mini-grids in the next six years. According to Birhanu Weldu, the lead executive of rural energy technology development, the initiative tackles the country's low electrification rate and reliance on charcoal and firewood. Charcoal, fuel wood, and agricultural wastes provide more than 86.8pc of rural household energy in Ethiopia, compounding energy shortages with a national electrification rate below 50pc. He revealed the plans during a panel discussion last week at the Capital Hotel on Haile Gebreselassie St. Tewabech Worqu, secretary of the Ethiopian Solar Products Suppliers Association, said existing legal and administrative frameworks have made it difficult for rural households to access solar solutions. Panellists also indicated a pervasive lack of awareness in rural farming communities of the potential benefits of solar pumps for using groundwater available at shallow depths throughout the country. Hiwote Teshome, manager of SNV Ethiopia, which works in agri-food, energy, and water systems, said business models that allow rural communities to access solar solutions through cooperative arrangements need to be developed.


Premier Pushes Domestic Drug Production

A six-day domestic pharmaceutical production and innovation expo was inaugurated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) last week. More than 110 local pharmaceutical manufacturers participated at the Millennium Hall on Airport Road. Recently appointed Minister of Health Meqdes Daba (MD), said local production of pharmaceuticals has become a cornerstone of health policy, which received approval from the Council of Ministers a month ago. However, a report from the Global Fund For Health last year r...


AFDB Lauds $8m for Solar Mini-Grid

Around half a million people foresee benefits from the pilot mini-grid built across nine sites in Amhara, Oromia, Sidama, and the Southern regional states. African Development Bank Group has approved eight million dollars in finance to support the project under the Distributed Renewable Energy & Agriculture Modalities (DREAM) program. The DREAM project, with a total budget of 20 million dollars through concessional loans, grants, and risk mitigation, will cover half of the mini-grid capital...


Parliament Approves $275m Loan for Urban Project

A  275 million dollar loan agreement was approved by Parliament last week, to support the second phase of the Urban Water Supply & Sanitation Project. Set to be implemented over the next three years, the project follows negotiations between Ethiopia and the International Development Association (IDA). The Chief Whip Tesfaye Beljige (PhD), presented details of the loan agreement to lawmakers and said that the project focuses on enhancing the supply of clean drinking water and improving sa...