By Dipo Olowookere
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been sealed between Israel and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which will see Israel’s leading solar developer, Energiya Global, invest about $1 billion over the next four years to advance green energy power projects across the 15 member states of the bloc, including Nigeria.
Energiya Global and its associated companies developed the first commercial scale solar field in sub-Sahara Africa in Rwanda, which is supplying 6 percent of the country’s power, and the group broke ground on a similar power plant in Burundi, which will supply 15 percent of the country’s power by the end of the year.
The solar group has fields at various stages of development in 10 African countries and expects to announce its full program at the Israel-Africa Summit in Togo at the end of October.
“With 600 million Africans without electricity, the State of Israel can literally help African heads of state bring power to the African people,” says Member of Knesset, Mr Avraham Neguise, chairman of the Israel-Africa Caucus of the Israeli Parliament.
“Our humanitarian and diplomatic goals are supported by the private sector as well, which can work quickly and efficiently to improve the lives of millions of people.
“I want to thank my friend Yosef Abramowitz for his investments in solar in Africa. We look forward to working with ECOWAS to deploy $1 billion over the next four years, starting with this first investment of $20 million in Liberia by Energiya Global,” he added.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Energiya Global, Mr Yosef Abramowitz, “In honour of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s two terms in office, and Liberia’s friendship with the State of Israel, Energiya Global and our international partners will finance and build a commercial-scale solar field at the Roberts International Airport, which will supply 25 percent of the country’s generation capacity.”
He added that, “We are prepared to finance and build the first National Demonstration Solar Projects in all ECOWAS-affiliated countries in order to promote political stability and social and economic development, as well as to advance knowledge transfer.”
Mr Abramowitz explained that the $20 million investment in Liberia comes as Israel and ECOWAS sign today an historic MoU to promote investments, technology and cooperation.
A working session between ECOWAS, representatives of the State of Israel and Abramowitz will take place on Monday morning in Monrovia, to plan for the deployment of the green energy investments in fulfilment of the MOU signed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and the President of ECOWAS.
The US Power Africa Coordinator, Mr Andrew Herscowitz, underlined the importance of Energiya Global’s work by saying, “As a founding Power Africa partner, Energiya Global continues to demonstrate its industry leadership with this important investment in Liberia. Increasing access and power generation is the foundation for economic prosperity and human development. We look forward to Energiya Global’s transformative impact on the lives of the Liberian people.”
“We are proud to be involved in the creation of cutting-edge, clean energy for Liberia,” says Remy Reinstein, Energiya Global’s country director. “We are honoured to have the seal of approval from President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose initiatives have made the sustainable development of Liberia possible.”
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