15 August 2013 – Ethiopia is achieving a gross domestic product (DGP) rate growth of some 10% a year, and to continue to drive economic growth the country needs to develop a strong industrial base. Part of this strategy is to continue to build capacity for local electrification programmes and to position the country as a mass exporter of power to the rest of East Africa.
Blessed with an abundance of both hydro and geothermal resources, the country is well placed to meet this objective. With an anticipated capacity of 5,000 MW of geothermal power, and 45,000 MW of hydropower, Ethiopia has the second largest hydropower capacity in Africa after the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Development Bank of Ethiopia has committed US$20 million to geothermal drilling with an additional US$20 million due to become available at a later date. In addition some US$13 billion will be spent on developing hydro generation capacity in Ethiopia over the next decade. This investment does not cover the additional expenditure on transmission and distribution infrastructure, which is also being planned, both for local electrification needs, and for export purposes.