Speeches Shim



The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has set ambitious goals to become a middle-income country by 2025, which includes aggressive power generation and connections targets. The GoE has determined that private investment is critical to achieve new generation targets beyond 2015 as concessional loans for government owned/operated generation facilities have decreased significantly. With Power Africa assistance, the GoE has gained experience with Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects through negotiation of the unsolicited Corbetti and Tule Moye Geothermal Projects and the competitively tendered Metahara Solar Project. Power Africa also assisted the GoE with developing the legal and regulatory IPP framework that has lowered financing risks. Major hurdles still exist, namely: the utility must become a creditworthy purchaser of electricity for IPPs; tariff rates must be reformed to allow for full-cost recovery; the dated transmission and distribution system, suffering from high losses and frequent outages, must be rehabilitated; efficient planning and operation/maintenance of the grid must be undertaken as it is expanded and new connections are added to keep up with new generation; and electrification of off-grid populations must be addressed.


Installed Capacity: 4,206 MW

  • Hydroelectric: 3,743 MW (89%)
  • Wind: 337 MW (8%)
  • Thermal: 126 MW (3%)

Power Africa New MW to date

  • Reached Financial Close: 0 MW
  • PA 2020 target: 870 MW

Power Africa 2030 Pipeline: 3,878 MW


Current Access Rate: 40%

  • Rural: 29% Urban: 85%

Households without Power: 12.6 million

  • Target: Universal access by 2030

Power Africa New Connections: 1,379,457


Biggest Issues

  1. Macroeconomic forces, particularly hard currency shortages needed to pay IPP tariffs
  2. Generation planning and procurements synchronized with demand
  3. New connections increased to prevent over-generation with take-or-pay IPPs

Power Africa Interventions

  1. Transaction advisory assistance, development of IPP tender documents, and improvement of the enabling environment to lower risk for private sector investment
  2. Development of the grid code, system integration modeling, and updating the demand forecast
  3. Establish a process that reduces distribution commercial losses and increases the rate of meter installation
  4. Capacity development for sustainability of the utilities and regulator



Power Africa is supporting Ethiopia’s generation/transmission utility by updating the demand forecast and developing a generation procurement plan that will meet demand and balance intermittent wind and solar generation with base-load hydro and geothermal generation. Power Africa provides capacity building to advance the transition from unsolicited proposals to competitive tendering of IPP projects through a transparent procurement process. Power Africa also is performing system integration studies that analyze grid states as new generation is added to the grid as well as developing the grid code.


Power Africa supports the distribution utility to meet its target of installing over 1 million new connections per year through supply chain management, development of distribution design and construction standards, and geospatial mapping of medium voltage distribution lines to feed into a distribution planning framework which will help prioritize expansion and densification projects. Power Africa is also conducting a smart grid study to be followed by a smart grid pilot project, and developing a “meters to cash” process for the utility to reduce commercial losses. Power Africa also supports off-grid electrification solutions for private sector investment.


Power Africa is assisting with key policy and regulatory reforms to strengthen the enabling environment for private investment and lower financial risks. It is also strengthening the regulator’s capacity to perform its functions, including issuance of licenses and permits for IPPs and private sector off-grid electrification, development of accounting standards to meet the needs of private sector investors (International Finance and Reporting Standards) and tariff rate determination (Uniform System of Accounts), and approval of tariff rates.


Power Africa supports the Government of Ethiopia’s commitment to transition to a middle-income country by 2025.  Electrification plays a key role in that plan. Power Africa’s support includes increasing installed generation capacity through private sector investment and increasing connections in cooperation with the World Bank’s National Electrification Program. According to Dan Waddle, senior vice president of NRECA International, “Past electrification efforts would inevitably fall short or stall for lack of financing and political will. Now, we’re seeing the emergence of strong leadership in several African countries including Ethiopia where there is increasing understanding of the widespread economic benefits of universal access.”

Powering Ethiopia’s Health Centers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Like several other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of mid-July, the country had nearly 10,000 cases of COVID-19 with 163 confirmed deaths. These numbers are expected to rise in the months ahead. To meet the increasing demands on essential response and recovery services, it is critical that health care facilities have access to reliable electricity.

Ethiopia’s state-owned power distribution company, Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), provides electricity to about three million customers across the country, most of them in the Addis Ababa and Finfinne regions, the most populous in Ethiopia. These regions are also home to nearly 200 hospitals and health care facilities, which rely on EEU for power.

Power Africa’s ongoing support to EEU is improving operations and boosting the utility’s financial well-being, which enhances the reliable supply of electricity to essential health care facilities. In response to the pandemic, Power Africa is also supporting specific technology-based operations and customer service initiatives that enable greater social distancing for employees and customers and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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