20.01.2002 19:00

Promotion of associations in the field of renewable energies in East Africa

Since October 2015, the Vocational Training Centres of the Bavarian Economy (bfz) gGmbH have been cooperating with five renewable energy associations in East Africa as part of a chamber and association partnership (KVP). In recent years (2012-2014), two short measures have already taken place with various renewable energy associations and the vocational training centres of the Bavarian industry (bfz) gGmbH via sequa in East Africa.



Story ID669
Project TitleChambers and Associations Partnership Project between the Training and Development Centers of the Bavarian Employers' Associations (bfz) gGmbH and chosen associations of East Africa’s Renewable Energy sector
ClientBMZ - Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung
Duration 01.10.2015 – 30.09.2018
Project Budget1.077.500,00 EUR
ProgrammesKVP + BBP
Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Local PartnerBurundi Renewable Energy Association
Energy Private Developers
Kenya Renewable Energy Association
Tanzania Renewable Energy Association
Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Association

Based on the positive results of these measures, a CIP was established between the bfz and old and new partners from the East African Community (here Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda without South Sudan). What is special about this CIP is the multi-country structure and the thematic focus on renewable energies.

Initial situation / Problem

Africa is the continent with the lowest percentage of energy and electricity supply for the population: Approximately 600 million people live without access to modern energy using wood and dung as heat sources and candles and oil lamps as light sources. The lack of energy has a considerable impact on the economic and social development of African countries, especially in rural areas.

In East Africa, i.e. in the countries of the East African Community (EAC), economic growth has led to a sharp rise in energy demand. Although governments and numerous investors are financing projects in the areas of solar, wind and geothermal energy, everyday life in the region continues to be dominated by acute supply bottlenecks. The main problems are the outdated and inefficient grids and power plants as well as the high prices for conventional energies.

Problems in the individual countries:


  • Catastrophic energy supply: only every 25th inhabitant has access to electricity
  • Institutional framework conditions for the energy market are scarce
  • VAT for Burundian companies on solar products
  • High energy demand - high energy prices


  • Only 30% of Kenyans have access to electricity
  • Only 5% of Kenya's rural population have access to electricity
  • Large increase in solar systems, but no national strategy for renewable energies in place


  • Great potential for renewable energies, especially in the hydropower sector
  • Only 22% of the population have access to electricity
  • Only 15% of the rural population have access to electricity
  • Defining energy targets in the National Energy Policy and Energy Sector Strategy Plan


  • Renewable energies are not supported by the government
  • State strategy for the development of renewable energies is in progress
  • Introduction of a feed-in tariff, but this is not economically viable


  • First successes in the energy sector through privatisation of electricity generation and distribution
  • 85% of the population (2013) without access to electricity
  • Generation and transmission capacities unable to keep pace with growing demand
  • Government Renewable Energy Strategy (2007): Investment Plan and Feed-in Tariff for Biogas and Mass
  • The energy infrastructure is mainly concentrated in the cities of Kampala and Wakiso - outside the cities there is little or no energy supply.

Project objectives and desired results

The overall objective of the CIP is to sustainably strengthen the economic and political framework conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises in the renewable energy sector. The project objective derived from this is: "Renewable Energy Associations (RE) in East Africa competently represent the interests of their members and support the national and regional transfer of know-how in the sector".

In order to achieve the goals, the following results will be sought:

  1. Selected national renewable energy associations have been strengthened in their performance capacity.
  2. The associations have an improved range of services which is in demand from their members and their customers and partners.
  3. The national associations are recognised and visible dialogue partners and information mediators for companies, politics, administration and the public.
  4. National associations actively participate in transnational discussions on strategies and measures on core issues.


The overall balance of the project with regard to the desired results is positive, as the associations as such could be strengthened. The high standard of the project was that it involved five different partner countries with different framework conditions and political situations as well as associations at different stages of development. Within the project, target-oriented measures could be implemented, initially with a stronger focus on the individual national partner associations, and a well-rehearsed working routine could be created on a trusting level.

Within the project, the associations have:

  • Established workable secretariats or improved existing ones
  • Developing new services and exchanging best practices on a supra-regional basis
  • Participating in the dialogue between the private sector and government in the respective countries or organising dialogue platforms themselves

All five project partners reported that the interventions were both needs-based and challenging. A great success of the project is that the five associations of the individual partner countries founded a supraregional umbrella association at the end of the first phase ("East Africa Renewable Energy Federation"). In this way, national concerns can be raised to the level of the EAC and thus a better leverage effect can be created, for example with regard to the political framework conditions.

Continuing measures:

In order to build on the positive results of the first phase and to strengthen the (especially financial) sustainability of the individual partner associations, a second three-year phase will be initiated. In this phase, the focus will be more on supraregional cooperation, as requested by the five partners in the East Africa Renewable Energy Federation.


Matthias Hertin

+49 (0) 228 98238-22