The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) announced Tuesday that the country's existing total 640 mw electric power capacity would reach 4,000 mw within the coming five years.
Mihret Debebe, EEPCo general manager, said in a press release that some 24 million people would benefit from the five-year program. Four international standard studies have been conducted over the past years to implement the plan.
According to Mihret, the national power supply program being implemented across the nation, and considered a huge project at the continental level, requires over 43 billion birr (495 million U.S. dollars) in the coming five years.
The general manager indicated that individual power consumption would be raised to 560 kwh from the current 28 kwh at the end of the program.
The figure takes into consideration the power generation constructions, including Tekeze, Beles, Gilgel Ghibe II and other hydropower stations, he said. Other studies would be implemented subsequently, and efforts would be deployed to make use of other power from wind and coal.
He added that the national power supply program aims to reach out to rural parts of the country. It would also help implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs, adopted in the millennium UN summit, include a series of concrete objectives in fighting poverty, reducing hunger, expanding primary education, and containing the spread of HIV/AIDS, among others.
In Ethiopia, only 13 percent of the population has access to electricity but that would rise to 20 percent by 2012.