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Belgium has disbursed US$12 million for the expansion of the renewable energy network in Zambezia province under an agreement signed in Maputo today.
“Belgium thus confirms its commitment to the Mozambican authorities by facilitating access to electricity for the population,” the Belgian ambassador to Maputo, Hubert Cooremen, said at the signing ceremony.
The amount will be used to construct a mini-hydro in Gurué district, which will benefit 12 localities in the province and is part of the second phase of the Renewable Energy for Rural Development program financed by Belgium.
“It is also a matter of favoring the development of small and medium-sized enterprises,” added the Belgian diplomat, noting that the idea will help diversify the Mozambican economy and reduce its vulnerability of localities to the instability of the economy.
Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, said the agreement will reinforce the Mozambican program of expansion of renewable energy networks, guaranteeing the use of the population.
“This initiative is part of the program of electrification of administrative posts and localities located in rural areas not complemented in the short term in the program of expansion of the national electricity network,” said the Mozambican official.
Over the past three years, some 51 communities in Mozambique have benefited from the renewable energy grid, mainly in the provinces of Tete, Sofala and Manica in central Mozambique, and Cabo Delgado and Niassa in the north of the country.
The first phase of the project, signed in 2011, benefited around 590 thousand people, electrifying infrastructures using solar systems, among which schools, residences and Health Centers.
Since the signing of the first agreement, Belgium has disbursed EUR 23.34 million for the expansion of the renewable energy network in Mozambique.source:lusa