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AfDB reaffirms its support to geothermal development in East Africa

Tanzania, November 7, 2014: During the recently held 5th African Rift Valley Geothermal Conference (ARGeo C-5), the African Development Bank (AfDB) reaffirmed its support to the development of geothermal power in the East Africa Rift Valley region. The conference was held at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha (Tanzania) from 29-31 October 2014.

Throughout the course of the conference, delegates were able to learn more about the international experience of geothermal development, reservoir engineering, geographical information systems in geothermal development, drilling, business development and financing.

The ARGeo conference sought to further regional cooperation in the development and utilisation of geothermal resources in East Africa. It brought together approximately 400 policy, technical and development experts to network and interface with both local and international geothermal companies to explore how to reduce project lead times, leverage financing and effectively manage geothermal power plants.

The conference also saw the launch of the African Rift Geothermal Inventory Database (AGID). This database will serve as a repository of information on the geothermal projects underway in the Rift Valley region, including project progress, funding, human resources capacity and equipment available or needed.

Speaking during the conference, Thierno Bah, a Principal Energy Specialist at the AfDB, said, "The bank has worked hard to mobilise various instruments and sources of financing, including the Partial Risk Garantee instrument as well as highly concessional financing from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), to support geothermal growth and it is encouraging to see the results of our work beginning to emerge."

During the ministerial-level closing session of the conference, representatives from countries including Tanzania, Eritrea, Malawi and Mozambique highlighted the significance of energy development in Africa and, in particular, the key role that geothermal will play in supporting further growth. Eritrea's Ambassador to Kenya, Beyene Russom, announced that ARGeo C-6 will take place in Asmara, in 2016.

Source: The ARGeo