AfDB Reaffirms its Support to Geothermal Development in East Africa

04/11/2014
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Over the course of the 5th African Rift Valley Geothermal Conference (ARGeo C-5), the African Development Bank (AfDB) has clearly reaffirmed its on-going support to the development of geothermal power in the East Africa Rift Valley region.

The ARGeo conference seeks to further regional cooperation in the development and utilization of geothermal resources in East Africa. It brought together approximately 400 policy, technical and development experts to network and interface with both local and international geothermal companies to explore how to reduce project lead times, leverage financing and effectively manage geothermal power plants.

Speaking during the conference, Thierno Bah, a Principal Energy Specialist at the AfDB, said: ”The AfDB is very heartened to witness the significant progress achieved so far in the development of the geothermal resource in this part of Africa. The Bank has worked hard to mobilize various instruments and sources of financing, including the Partial Risk Garantee instrument as well as highly concessional financing from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), to support geothermal growth and it is encourgaing to see the results of our work beginning to emerge.”

In addition to acting as a key sponsor of the event, the AfDB actively participated in the conference and had the opportunity to address the delegates. Bank representatives highlighted the AfDB’s previous experience in bringing geothermal projects to fruition and detailed future possibilities for the development of goethermal power in the region.  In addition, representatives of the AfDB held productive meetings with a number of  bilateral partners to explore the potential for future collaboration.

Throughout the course of the conference, delegates were able to learn more about the internatoinal experience of geothermal development, reservoir engineering, geographical information systems in geothermal develpoment, drilling, business development and financing.

The conference also saw the launch of the African Rift Geothermal Inventory Database (AGID). This database will serve as a repository of information on the geothermal projects underway in the Rift Valley region, including project progress, funding, human resources capacity and equipment available or needed.

During the ministerial-level closing session of the conference, representatives from countries including Tanzania, Eritrea, Malawi and Mozambique highlighted the significance of energy development in Africa and, in particular, the key role that geothermal will play in supporting further growth. Eritrea’s Ambassador to Kenya,  Beyene Russom, announced that ARGeo C-6 will take place in Asmara, in 2016.