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UNIDO and Austria pave the way for a global network of regional sustainable energy centres

© ADA
LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO and Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency.
LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO and Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation, today signed agreements to support an existing renewable energy and energy efficiency centre in West Africa and to set up three more centres in East and Southern African and in the Caribbean region. The four project agreements will receive a total of approximately EUR 3,5 million in funding from the ADA.

"The regional renewable energy and energy efficiency centres are another good example of our fruitful partnership with Austria. Local companies and industry will benefit from the growing sustainable energy market opportunities, as well as from regional cooperation and South-South and North-South technology and knowledge transfer," said LI Yong, the Director General of UNIDO.

© ADA
UNIDO and ADA signed agreements to support an existing renewable energy and energy efficiency centre in West Africa and to set up three more centres in East and Southern African and in the Caribbean region.

"We consider the regional centres to be a powerful way to simultaneously address the challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation in our partner countries. We are pleased to see that our initial contributions have already leveraged major funding commitments from international donors and generated tangible results and impacts. In this context, we would like to thank the Energy and Climate Change Branch of UNIDO for the excellent cooperation in previous years," said Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the ADA.

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), based in Praia, Cabo Verde, was established in 2010 to create favourable framework conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  The new project will strengthen the ECREEE's capacity to deal with a rapidly growing project portfolio and expanding external demands for its services.

© ADA
The four project agreements will receive a total of approximately EUR 3,54 million in funding from the ADA.

The two new centres in sub-Saharan Africa will seek to replicate the success of the ECREEE model. One will be established, together with the East African Community (EAC), to serve partner States, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda; and the other will serve the 15 Members States of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). It is expected that both centres will be fully operational in 2014.

The third centre will be set up to meet the energy challenges faced by islands in the Caribbean region. Recently, UNIDO was requested by the Sustainable Energy Island Initiative (SIDS DOCK) of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to assist the island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific in the creation of similar centres. A final agreement on the centres is expected in 2014, which has been declared the International Year of Small Island Developing States.