AFREPREN/FWD - Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa Website
RENEWABLES AND ENERGY FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The Renewables and Energy for
Rural Development Theme Group meeting was held from the 30th October
- 1st November, 1999. The
aim of this meeting was to review country research proposals received from
members of the Theme Group from various Eastern and Southern Africa countries
and to assess the relevance of the issues they intend to address to the region's
energy sector. To assist in
reviewing the proposed research issues raised in the proposals stakeholders from
various institutions in the region were invited.
The participants to the Renewables and Energy for Rural
Development Theme Group meeting were drawn from six countries, namely: Ethiopia,
Eritrea, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and comprised senior policy makers in
government, a representative from a grassroots women’s organization, a
representative from a financial institution and
energy researchers (members of AFREPREN/FWD's Renewables and Energy for Rural
Development Theme Group).
The meeting's main objectives included:
The objective of the Renewables and Energy for Rural Development Theme Group is to identify options for the provision of modern energy services to low-income rural areas of Africa with special emphasis on commercial/service/productive uses of energy. To achieve this, the group intends to focus in the first year on:
Proposed Areas of focus for Country Research Studies
The participants agreed to focus on two main areas:
Review of rural energy policies and programmes
- Identify gaps and omissions in existing rural energy policy documents and
propose recommendation for implementation of rural energy policies that enhance
effective provision of energy services to rural enterprises to increase incomes
and employment opportunities.
Assessment of small rural enterprises
- In addition, each principle researcher will examine energy intensities of
various small rural enterprises,(about 10 enterprises), identify energy
intensive enterprises and do an in-depth study on one of the enterprises to
identify options for improving energy provision and increase incomes and
employment opportunities in rural areas of Africa.
The following are the specific issues that each country
agreed to focus on based on recommendations and suggestions of invited
Zimbabwe - Past rural energy initiatives and reasons for their
failure; small and medium sized
rural enterprises and correlation of productivity to provision of non-grid and
efficient forms of energy.
Zambia - The performance of rural energy programmes that are
targeted at women groups and those that are targeted at non-women groups and the
extent to which the emphasis on gender impacts on performance.
The institutional structure of the rural energy policy in
Zambia will also be examined and the researcher will propose ways of enhancing
existing institutional arrangements as well as options for removing barriers to
effective implementation of energy policies.
Eritrea -Decentralized/non-grid forms of energy and their
role in developing small and medium
Botswana - Rural energy initiatives will be assessed and
reasons for their poor performance assessed.
The potential developmental role of PV in small and medium enterprises
will also be examined.
Ethiopia - Barriers to the introduction of RETs will be
examined, with one barrier being studied in-depth. Existing rural energy policies and their shortcomings in
addressing rural energy needs will also be reviewed.
South Africa - The current institutional
framework and its role in the integration in provision of energy and other
development services to low income households and enterprises will be analyzed.
Women’s participation in energy activities and their ownership of
energy enterprises will also be addressed.
AFREPREN/FWD Secretariat - In addition to compiling the various country reports into a regional report, the secretariat would also carry out a technical assessment of Renewable Energy Technologies in Africa as well as collect data on critical mass numbers for RETs.
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