Sunday, October 17, 2021

Italy bankrolls Botswana’s Renewable Energy Sector

The Botswana government will receive a ┬ú2 million (P23.5 million) from the Italian government to boost the country’s renewable energy sector.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Environment of Italy and the Ministry of Environment of Botswana to co-operate in the field of Climate Change Vulnerability, Risk Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation on December 11, 2015 in Paris, France.

One of the areas of cooperation indicated in the agreement is the promotion and development of the use of renewable energies (RE), in order to achieve the target established by Botswana. 

Speaking at a conference this week, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Environmental Affairs) Thabang Botshoma said besides the P23.5 million from Italy, a number of projects are starting, inclusive of the greening of the Met Services and Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conversation and Tourism (MENT) buildings.

However, Botshoma said, both countries are worried that the participation of the private sector in Climate Change is low, adding that there was need for their engagement.

He revealed that earlier in the year Italy engaged United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to come to Botswana to engage the private sector on renewable energy.

“The report of that engagement came out and also the Climate Change Policy is now advanced. The Strategy and Action Plan development has started and looking forward to the Climate Change Act development,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Italy’s Senior Investment Promotion Expert, Elizabeth Chavolla Sanchez said the structure of energy with the implementation of renewable energy is changing since it requires the participation of the different actors such as providers of Energy, Private Sector, Users and Civil Society.

“The Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Rome, Italy of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO ITPO, Italy) has signed an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Environment to carry out the necessary actions to develop the objective 2.1 (g) of the MoU in accordance with the mission of our institution which is the promotion among the private sector of Italy of the opportunities in the renewable energy (RE) sector of Botswana and facilitate the transfer of technology and investment,” she said.  

To achieve this, she said, they visited Botswana   from March 20 to 24 with the aim to present the activities of the project and also to receive inputs from the Renewable Energy private and public sector in Botswana.

Sanchez said they received some delegates in Italy who meet with the Italian Private Sector with the aim to present the needs of Botswana in the Solar Sector.

“The world has committed to provide energy for all in 2030 and we are confident Botswana will achieve this challenge but this means that we need to work in establishing dialogue among stakeholders,” she said.

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