Botswana secures Italian sponsorship for renewable energy
By Mpho Tebele
GABORONE – Botswana has secured a 23 million Pula sponsorship from the Italian government in an effort to boost the country’s renewable energy sector.
This comes against the backdrop of a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the Ministry of Environment of Italy and the Ministry of Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism to cooperate in the field of climate change, risk assessment and adaptation in 2015 in France.
Speaking at a workshop, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Thabang Batshoma said besides the financial support from Italy, a number of projects have commenced.
“However both countries are worried that the participation of the private sector in Climate Change is low. Need for their engagement,” said Batshoma.
Batshoma said earlier in the year Italy engaged the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) based in that country 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.
He said one of the main objective of the workshop held in Gaborone was to disseminate knowledge of local industrial SME and relevant institutions concerning innovative sustainable technologies in the selected sectors.
It was also aimed at identify at least six concrete innovative RE projects in the country and promote the selected opportunities to the investors and technology providers in the ITPO Italy network.
Another main objective of the workshop was to improve local investment officer’s skill in identifying and promoting internationally concrete investment projects in order to build a long-lasting reliable network in the country.
It was also to support the promotion of investment and trade agreements in RE between local entrepreneurs and international stakeholders, mainly from Italy and demonstrated technical viability of innovative technologies on the sustainable energy and climate change adaption.
“We also wanted to engage private sector, non-governmental organisations and faith based organisations to participate in climate change activities,”
Italy’s senior investment promotion expert, Elizabeth Chavoilla said one of the areas of cooperation in the agreement signed by the two countries was the promotion and development of the use of renewable energies in order to achieve the target established by the Republic of Botswana.
“The Investment and Technology Promotion Office in Rome Italy of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has signed an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Environment to carry out the necessary actions to promote among the private sector of Italy of the opportunities in the renewable energy sector of Botswana and facilitate the transfer of technology and investment,” she said.
To achieve such an objective, she said, they visited Botswana between 20-24th March this year 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.
Chavoilla added that on 29th June this year “we received a delegate in Italy who meet with the Italian Private Sector with the aim to present the needs of Botswana in the Solar Sector this person was Ms. Karen Giffard from the Solar Industries Association of Botswana (SIAB).”
“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 do System which means working in team establishing dialogue among stakeholders,” she said.
According to Chavoilla, the structure of energy with the implementation of renewable energy is changing since requires the participation of the different actors which include the providers of Energy, Private S