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EAC Partner States reaffirm their commitment to advancing renewable energy sources and addressing fossil fuel challenges in the region

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 14th February, 2024: East African Community (EAC) Partner States have reaffirmed their commitment to enhance energy efficiency and exploit wind, solar and geothermal energy as sustainable energy sources for the region.

Partner States have subsequently embarked on various initiatives in an effort to tap into the potential of renewable energy and energy conservation, such as review of national renewable energy laws, implementation of energy management regulations, national strategies and standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.

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During the Ministerial Session of the 16th Sectoral Council of Energy that was held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, Partner States reported that investments in wind and solar energy infrastructure were also underway, from Burundi's solar mini-grids to Kenya's wind and solar projects, all aimed at increasing renewable energy contributions to the national grid. Similarly, Rwanda and Tanzania reported increased investment in solar energy projects, while Uganda reported that she is focusing on solar energy deployment for rural electrification.

The Ministers were informed that the Partner States were also exploring mini-hydro projects and transforming biomass energy sources with initiatives ranging from promoting sustainable charcoal production to implementing clean cooking solutions and bioenergy strategies.

The Ministers noted the updates on ongoing fossil fuel projects and underscored the region's commitment to fossil fuel sub-sector development. Notable progress includes Kenya's commercial oil discovery in the South Lokichar basin within the Tertiary rift basin with an estimated 2.9 billion barrels and a recoverable estimate of 585 million barrels.

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Other updates were on Tanzania's preparations for the 5th licensing round of oil and natural gas exploration blocks on both onshore and offshore areas, with an aim of attracting more investors; Uganda's petroleum resource development projects and the progress in the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project whose actual Installation of pipes on the ground is scheduled to begin in May, 2024; and Rwanda's utilisation of methane gas for electricity generation.

In promoting petroleum exploration and development in the region, the Sectoral Council approved the 11th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2025 (EAPCE’25) to be held from 5th – 7th March, 2025 in Tanzania.

With regard to power connectivity in the region, the region has a total power supply installed capacity of 7,381.67 Megawatts while the total system peak demand stands at 4,811.2 Megawatts. The regional per capita electricity consumption was reported to range from 25 kilowatt hours in Burundi to 153 kilowatt hours in Kenya.

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The Ministers however noted that challenges in electricity supply persist, particularly as a result of vandalism of electricity infrastructure. To this end, the Partner States have committed to combat the issue, with Kenya establishing specialised police units. The EAC Secretariat urged the Partner States to implement mitigation measures such as copper-plated earth rods, regulating scrap metal transactions and community sensitization.

Speaking during the opening session of the Ministerial Session, the Chairperson, Hon. Shaib Hassan Kaduara, the Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals, Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania, standing for Republic of South Sudan, which is the current Chair, emphasised the significance of the energy sector noting its unique role in achieving socio-economic development of the Community.

“Energy plays a critical role in industrial development and investment promotion, and therefore access to reliable, safe and cost-effective energy is not optional but compulsory if our region is to realise its development objectives,” said Hon. Kaduara.

The Minister extended an invitation to Partner States to the official launch of Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant scheduled for 25th February, 2024.

“This hydropower plant has a capacity of generating 2,115 Megawatts, the launch of this project is a milestone that will reduce the deficit of electricity not only in Tanzania but in the entire region,” he added.

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In her remarks, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs, Ms Annette Ssemuwemba, said that the EAC has rich energy resources most of which remain untapped.

“Most people still rely on biomass which is inefficiently utilised and degrades our environment,” said Ms. Ssemuwemba who represented EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki at the meeting.

“As a region, we must therefore focus on sufficient, reliable and cost-effective energy to meet our development needs, and in this regard, there is need to come up with recommendations for solutions that will guide the sector,” she added.

Also present at the meeting were Hon. Eng. Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Hydraulic, Energy and Mines, Republic of Burundi and Hon. Peninah Malonza, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, for EAC, the ASALs and Regional Development.

For more information, please contact:

Simon Peter Owaka
Senior Public Relations OfficerCorporate Communications and Public Affairs DepartmentEAC SecretariatArusha, TanzaniaTel: +255 768 552087Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of seven (7) Partner States, comprising the Republic of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Federal Republic of Somalia is in the process of becoming a full member of the Community after its admission into the EAC bloc by the Summit of EAC Heads of State on 24th November, 2023.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified

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