The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), Business Eswatini (BE) and the Renewable Energy Association of Eswatini (REAESWA) organised the EU Green Power Transformation Forum Workshop on the 9th of November 2022 in Mbabane. The event was held with the support of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Eswatini and the two European programmes GET.invest and GET.transform.
This hybrid workshop convened public and private sector representatives to enable business partnerships and knowledge sharing to catalyse investments and power sector reform to support the energy transition in Eswatini. The workshop was a great success, with more than 80 participants joining the debate and discussing opportunities for the energy transition in Eswatini on-site and over 50 people following the workshop online.
The agenda was opened by Constance Vanzuydam, Chairperson of REAESWA, and followed by welcome notes from ARE, GIZ, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy and the EU Delegation to Eswatini before moving on to presentations on the basics of renewable energy, the legal and policy frameworks of the country with a focus on the 2050 Energy Master Plan Eswatini. The existing generation investment plans and some examples of success stories in the country were also shared with the participants.
The workshop then continued with two roundtables on the role of different actors in the renewable energy sector of the country and bankability and project financing. A final panel discussion addressed the skilled job force for the Eswatini renewable energy sector.
The event was hosted in the context of the EU Green Power Transformation Forum, which included the launch of a country window of the impact investment facility Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI), as well as the launch of the Eswatini country window of GET.invest and GET.transform, which are supported by the EU, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. ElectriFI is set to increase access to clean energy in Eswatini through providing suitable finance to companies and project developers. Hand in hand with this, GET.invest and GET.transform will deploy their global services and tailor them to the local requirements. More concretely, they will leverage their expertise on the private and public sector to support conducive renewable energy sector regulations and mobilise investments in private renewable energy projects. With this holistic approach, the new country windows thus contribute to developing truly viable energy sector solutions in Eswatini.
Dessislava Choumelova, EU Ambassador to Eswatini pointed out: “We are pleased to see these experienced programmes starting their work in Eswatini now. We believe the workshop and programmes will be the starting point of a new era for the renewable energy sector in Eswatini in bringing together all relevant actors to discuss all the key drivers for a good business environment for renewables.”
“The workshop was a great kick-off for the activities of GET.invest and GET.transform in Eswatini. Bringing together renewable energy stakeholders from both the public and private sector, it allowed us to establish the common ground and the valuable links we need to help advance Eswatini’s energy transition” summarised Ferdinand Nell, Country Coordinator for GET.invest and GET.transform Eswatini.
Overall, the EU Green Power Transformation Forum Workshop stressed how renewable solutions in Eswatini’s energy mix are a prerequisite to meeting the country’s aim of universal access to clean energy while ensuring that sustainability remains a key pillar in these efforts.
Jens Jæger, Director of Policy & Business Development at ARE underlined that: “Building on Eswatini’s commitment to renewable energies, we are happy to see significant momentum for the clean energy transition in the country. ARE is looking forward to further support Eswatini in reaching its universal electrification and climate change targets through moblisation of the decentralised renewable energy industry.”