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Report released on 7th ARGeo Conference held in Kigali, Rwanda, Nov. 2018

ARGeo Conference Report screenshot
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 27 Jan 2019

The 7th African Rift Geothermal Conference was held successfully in Kigali/ Rwanda in November 2018. In its report on the conference, UNEP in Africa highlights details on key issues faced by the geothermal sector in Africa and the program of the event.

Already in December 2018, the Africa Office of UNEP released a report on the 7th African Rift Geothermal Conference, which was held in Kigali/ Rwanda October 29 to November 2, 2019. We thought it would still be useful sharing it here now.

The conference was hosted and organized by the Government of Rwanda, pursuant to the ARGeo’s Steering Commitee’s decision at its eighth meeting in Addis Ababa in 2016. This conference consisted of: (i) The Main Conference (31 October-2 November 2018); (ii) Four parallel Pre conference short courses (29-30 October 2018), (iii) Tenth ARGeo Steering Commitee Meeting (29 October 2018), (iv) Seventh African Geothermal Centre of Excellence Steering Commitee meeting (29 October 2018), (V) MFA- Iceland International development Agency Project Review Meeting (30 October 2018); (VI) Second Annual General Meetng of IGA- African Regional Branch (1 November 2018), (VII) Technical Advisory Team and AGCE working team meetng (2 November 2018) and (Viii) Post conference field trip to Gisenyi and Karisimbi geothermal prospects (3-4 November 2018).

Roundtable discussions among decision makers responsible for mines and energy, Ambassadors, concluded that geothermal energy plays a key role in the achievement of most of the Sustainable Development Goals. The decision makers discussed modalities of creating an enabling environment for geothermal development in the eastern Africa region. The Managing Director of EDCL, Mr. Felix Gakuba was a moderator of the session where as ARGeo Program Manager Meseret Zemedkun co-moderated the session on behalf of the Regional Director, UN Environment-Africa Office, Juliete Biao Koudenoukpo.

There was consensus that the key success factors for accelerated development of geothermal resources in the region focused on science and knowledge-based decisions by policy makers; understanding unique characteristcs of geothermal resources in the western and eastern branches of the EARS and apply appropriate strategies for each branch. The decision makers also noted that geothermal energy needs to be developed in an environmentally sustainable manner in responsive to Africa’s environmental and sustainable development policy as well as the strategic processes such as AU Agenda 2063 and the Common Africa Position (CAP) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7). In order to build a critical mass of skilled experts in the region there is a shift from project based to matured institutional support specifically through establishment of the Africa Geothermal Centre of Excellence. The center will be designed to have regional relevance, regional ownership while building on existing initiatives. In general, the roundtable discussions encouraged cooperation and synergies among eastern Africa countries endowed with geothermal resources through international forums for knowledge sharing and experience exchange, pooling resources to maximize benefits, supporting the Africa Geothermal Centre Excellence and sharing geothermal data and information through the African Geothermal Inventory Database (AGID).

For the full report also on the plenary sessions, and post-conference events, see link below.

ARGeo C-7 Conference Report (pdf)