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Advanced scoping for technical capacity building on small hydropower in East Africa

Advanced scoping for technical capacity building on small hydropower in East Africa

Scoping for technical capacity building on small hydropower in East Africa




1 February, 2015 to 1 July, 2015




East Africa


This type of activity was part of the RECP start-up phase and is now being offered under the Service Line SEADS.

The East African region is endowed with a substantial small hydro potential which should have resulted in a large and rapidly growing small hydro industry (in the range up to 10MW). Until recently, the small hydro industry in the region was characterized by sporadic small and isolated pilot projects that were not able to scale and over time break down or work below rated capacities due to lack of maintenance, repair and/or rehabilitation. Among agro industries, notably the traditional tea sector, these break downs led to a growing understanding of the importance of proper O&M of existing and planned small hydro power installations. 

In this context the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) has received a request from the East African Community (EAC) for assistance in the area of small hydropower capacity development. The assistance is meant to trigger further support within EAC in building up a portfolio in renewable energy and energy efficiency within the region, championed by Austria and UNIDO. The project entailed an advanced scoping into the area of technical training gaps in the small hydropower sector. The activity supported EAC in carrying out a detailed gap analysis and assessment of capacity development measures for technical skills concerning small hydropower in the region. The analysis and assessment provided the baseline for clear recommendations on how to scale up technical capacities for small hydropower in East Africa.

The final workshop was officiated by Hon. Jesca Eriyo, Deputy Secretary General, Productive and Social Sectors, East African Community, and was attended by 48 participants drawn from government representatives from EAC Partner States, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia and development partners working actively in the area of hydropower in East Africa. In particular, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its commitment to support implementation of some selected aspects within the proposed recommendations already to begin this year 2015, and called upon other development partners to support the intervention. 

The expected impact will be that investments in small-scale hydropower are more sustainable through enhanced capacities to install, operate and maintain small hydropower systems. The reliable power supply for rural electrification will thereby be increased through properly installed and functioning small hydropower system.

For further information, including the final report and presentations held during the final workshop, please refer to the right.

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