Belgium has agreed to provide Mozambique with €12 million to promote and implement projects for the production of new and renewable energy in several of the country’s regions.To that effect, an agreement was formalised late on Friday by Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela on behalf and Belgian ambassador, Hubert Cooremen.
The agreement, Renewable Energies for Rural Development – FASE II, aims to support the expansion of access to energy in rural areas, with special attention to the central province of Zambezia and has as its implementing agency the National Energy Fund (FUNAE).
Speaking minutes after the signing of the agreement, Tonela said that it will allow the financing of the construction of a mini-hydro plant in the district of Guruè in Zambezia and isolated power systems in 12 locations and administrative posts in that province.
“It is an initiative that falls within the framework of the government’s five-year program for remote areas that are not in the short and medium term in the national grid expansion program”the minister explained.
He said that, in the last three years, more than 51 communities in Mozambique, in particular Sofala, Tete, Manica, Cabo Delgado and Niassa benefited from this initiative.
The Belgian diplomat said in turn that the renewable energy project will allow the population to develop small and medium-sized enterprises and diversify the economy.
The agreement is the continuity of the program signed in 2011 through which Belgium disbursed € 23.34 million to finance a program called RERD 1 – Renewable Energy for Rural Development with the aim of promoting economic development through increased access to energy which ended on 31 May 2017.
In the initial phase, the program included the electrification of schools, health centers, residences, administrative offices, installation of water pumping systems, construction and mini-hydro studies, studies of the wind potential for installation of aerobumbs for water pumping, system maintenance, implementation of the system georeferencing systems (GIS), market development for renewable energy products and institutional capacity building.
Regarding the electrification of infrastructures using solar systems, 195 schools, 79 health centers, 274 residences for nurses and teachers, and 77 secretariats of administrative headquarters in the provinces of Zambézia, Manica and Sofala were electrified.
This action benefited around 593,400 people (290,800 men and 302,600 women).