Global conference on rural energy access in eradicating poverty kicks off

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Addis Ababa, 5 December 2013 (WIC) - A three-day global conference which discusses rural energy access in eradicating poverty kicked off here Wednesday.

The Conference on Rural Energy Access: A Nexus Approach to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication is part of the follow up to the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20. The main objective of the Conference is to provide an opportunity to strengthen capacities on policy, technical and entrepreneurial approaches to rural energy access for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development in rural communities.

Speaking on the occasion energy development and monitoring Director with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Gosaye Nengiste said the country have been working hard to expand rural areas access to electricity.

Some 5,600 towns, villages and development centers have been electrified through the Universal Electric Access Program over the past seven years, he said.

Gosaye said the aggressive expansion projects helped the country to increase the electricity coverage to 53 percent from the previous 15 percent during the reported period.

The government has set target to increase beneficiaries of the electric service to 10,000 and raise the coverage to 75 percent over the coming two years. Close to 26,130 households in areas remote from the national grid system have also benefited from solar home systems, he said.

According to ENA, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), in collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All, UN-Energy and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) organized the event.

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