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Acting Natural Resources Minister Jabulani Mabuza launches UNDP’s R15million Africa Minigrid Project.

Friday, 14th October, 2022

MBABANE: Jabulani Mabuza, the Acting Minister of Natural Resources and Energy has launched the Africa Minigrid Project for Eswatini that was funded through the Global Environment Facility(GEF) to the tune of R15.5 million.

According to eSwatini Government online platforms, the funding for the project was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

It has been disclosed that the project seeks to establish productive energy use initiatives within the Mvundla Minigrid project area, install a minigrid at Bulimeni community under Bulandzeni umphakatsi and assist the Bulimeni community set up productive energy use activities that will ensure there is maximum utilisation of available electricity.

Speaking during the launch, the Acting Natural Resources Minister said the main focus of the project was establishing a springboard for renewable Minigrid development, building data and knowledge resources and ‘proof of concept’ business models that can inform planning, de-risking investments and encourage private sector participation.

“This aligns with the country’s target for renewable energy and the expectation that mini-grids and other off-grid solutions such as solar home systems will contribute to the goal to achieve universal energy access by 2030.The project also aligns with Government’s efforts of ensuring universal access to clean and affordable energy for all and will assist in enhancing access to electricity for all citizens including those living in rural areas,” said the Acting Natural Resources Minister as quoted by Government online platforms.

On another note, UNDP Eswatini Deputy Resident Representative Jane Yeboah said Eswatini was doing well when it came to energy access. 

“The country’s current electrification is estimated at 83%, compared to 40% in Africa. However, only 69% of people in rural areas have access to electricity,” said the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative as quoted by eSwatini Government online platforms.

The Minister then appointed a Project Steering Committee that will provide overall guidance and direction to the project, committee members are: Dorcas Dlamini (Chair), Rose Ssebatindira, Siboniso Tsela and Edgar Siza Dlamini.

Acting Natural Resources Minister Jabulani Mabuza launches UNDP’s R15million Africa Minigrid Project.
Ministers Jabulani Mabuza and Moses Vilakati poses with Project Steering Committee Members and stakeholders during the launch of the Africa Minigrid Project for Eswatini(pic: Gov).