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Ethiopia signed three credit financing agreements with the World Bank (WB) providing for USD 400,000 million in the form of loans for the execution of its Electricity Network Reinforcement Project (ENREP), urban water supply and Sanitation (UWSSP) as well as Women Interpretation Development Project (WIDP). Finance and Economic Development Minister, Sufian Ahmed said that the agreement amounting to USD 150 million would help fill the financing gap of the ongoing urban water supply and sanitation project due to cost escalation in the materials of the construction and water supply as well as sanitation infrastructure. The project will be implemented in Addis Ababa, Hawassa, Jimma, Makalle, as well as Dire Dawa. According to him the second agreement amounting to USD 200 million to finance the ENREP will strengthen the country’s existing transmission network, increasing its capacity and reliability as well as access to electricity by grid connection intensification and off grid intensification in the country. Moreover, it will contribute to carbon emission backing clean energy development. The third agreement would be used to execute women entrepreneurship development projects designed to increase the earnings and employment of MSEs fully or partly owned by participating female entrepreneurs in the targeted urban centers. He further indicated as part of Ethiopia’s major development partner, the WB has been supporting development activities focusing on various sectors and eradicating poverty. World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Gunag Z. Chen on his part said the financing agreement will support the projects that provide a comprehensive technical assistance and capacity building programs of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO), the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) as well as the Development Bank of Ethiopia. He indicated that the finance will help support EEPCo to reinforce its transmission and distribution of network infrastructure and DBE to widen its market presence extending access to finance to the private sectors and MoWE to assist with off grid market development activities. He also affirmed that the World Bank would continue working closely with Ethiopia to back its development activities and poverty eradication efforts.
(The Ethiopian Herald)