A milestone partnership was forged this week in Beijing between China, Denmark, Ghana, Zambia and UNDP with the signing of a project agreement for Renewable Energy Technology Transfer.
This project is one of the first examples of triangular South-South cooperation between China and Africa with support from a donor. Its objective is to ensure that Chinese renewable energy technologies are optimally responding to priorities and needs in Ghana and Zambia, and critical skills are also transferred and developed to make the technologies actually work on the ground. This approach will have a tremendous impact on increasing access to energy for the rural poor in the two countries, and for other developing countries interested in such cooperation with China in the future.
The project is part of the UNDP-China agreement for Strengthened Partnership signed in 2010 to promote South-South cooperation through innovative programs.
"UNDP is pleased to embark on this cooperation and is committed to making projects more impactful and more sustainable by providing 'software' support with the transfer of renewable energy technologies, rather than just relying on the traditional hardware of equipment or infrastructure," said Xu Haoliang, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Director of the Regional Bureau of Asia and Pacific
The Government of Denmark provided funding for the initial formulation of the project and a contribution of 29.25 million DKK, equivalent to US$5.4 million, to UNDP for its implementation in Ghana and Zambia. This implementation will be led by the governments of the two countries with the Ministry of Sciences and Technology as the Chinese counterpart institution, and support from the UNDP offices in Beijing, Accra and Lusaka.
The project will help with achieving the objective of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) of the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon by increasing access to energy through off-grid and community-based electrification. Support will not be in the form of hardware transfer but instead will focus on creating conditions required to make adoption of renewable energy technologies more effective, removing barriers and strengthening local capacities to respond to national priorities and meet local needs.