Tuesday, 28 May 2013

UNIDO supports network of regional sustainable energy centres in sub-Saharan Africa

VIENNA, 28 May 2013 – The Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the East African Community (EAC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The Austrian Government has committed to provide EUR 1 million for the establishment of the centre.

During the signing ceremony, Ambasssador Johannes Kyrle, Secretary-General of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, highlighted the successful technical cooperation with UNIDO regarding the establishment of sustainable energy centres.

Jesca Eriyo, Deputy Secretary General of the EAC, expressed her confidence that the East African centre would be fully operational in 2014.

UNIDO Director General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, stressed the importance of the network of centres to attain the Sustainable Energy for All goals in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Centres contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for regional renewable energy and energy efficiency markets by mitigating existing barriers. They execute cross-border activities in the areas of policy and regulatory frameworks, capacity development, and knowledge management. They help raise awareness, and are important for business and investment promotion.

Since 2010, UNIDO has supported the Economic Community of West African States in the establishment and operation of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The Centre receives financial support from the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the Governments of Austria and Spain.

ECREEE has demonstrated leadership in the development of regional renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, the execution of technical programmes, as well as in the operation of the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency ( and

Under the supervision of ECREEE, the Energy Ministers adopted the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy, which aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the overall electricity mix to 19 per cent by 2030 (excluding large hydro). Around 25 per cent of the rural population will be served by renewable energy powered mini-grids or stand-alone systems.

In 2012, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) requested UNIDO's assistance with the replication of the ECREEE model in Southern and Eastern Africa. Significant progress has been achieved in recent months.

The role and activities of the South-South network of African sustainable energy centres will be discussed at the Vienna Energy Forum on 29 May during the side event, "Regional Sustainable Energy Centres in Africa: Creating Regional Markets to Support the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”.  

For more information, please contact:

Jossy Thomas UNIDO Industrial development officerOpens window for sending emailemail