Addis Abeba – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has granted approval for a $104 million funding package to support a transmission project in eastern Ethiopia. The project aims to transform the region’s power supply infrastructure and enhance the efficiency of the power distribution network.
The project will involve the construction of 157 kilometers of 400-kilovolt double-circuit transmission lines, along with strategically located substations in Harar, Jijiga, and Fafem. Funding for the project will come from the African Development Fund, which plans to provide a $52 million grant, and the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework Agreement’s Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund, which will provide a soft loan of $52 million.
Batchi Baldeh, the Bank’s Director of Power Systems Development, emphasized the importance of improving the power grid to address issues of brownouts and load shedding in the eastern region. According to him, the project aims to not only connect various industries and households to the electricity network but also eliminate the reliance on diesel generators as the primary source of power.
In addition to the power transmission project, a new initiative will lend support to the government’s agricultural irrigation program in the eastern part of the country, focusing on 462,174 hectares of land. This program aims to address the food-security challenge faced by the region and ensure sufficient fodder for livestock.
Furthermore, the project includes an educational component, providing opportunities to 200 students with a commitment to including at least 40% girls. These students will receive hands-on learning and experience during the construction phase and grants to attend training courses in the energy sector.
This funding announcement came a month after the African Development Bank Group granted a total of $84.3 million to Ethiopia for its wheat production initiative. Ethiopia aims to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production and become a net exporter by 2025/26, with a target of producing an additional 4.2 million metric tons of irrigated wheat. AS