Four African nations join International Solar Alliance

| Updated: May 23, 2017 07:36 IST

Gandhinagar [Gujarat][India], May 23 (ANI): Four African nations Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia and Ghana have joined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA) whereas another African country Comoros is expected to join on Tuesday. Djibouti, Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia and Ghana signed the ISA framework agreement on Monday to join the International Solar Alliance, while Comoros is expected to sign and submit its ratification instrument on Monday, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement. Nauru also submitted its instrument of ratification. An ISA event was held on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meeting in Gandhinagar. Union Minister Arun Jaitley graced the signing and ratification ceremony organised by Indian's Ministry of External Affairs. A total of 30 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Guinea Bissau, India, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nauru, Niger, Republic of Guinea, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) signed the ISA Framework Agreement in Marrakech on 15 November, 2016 within 41 days of finalizing the text of the agreement, which is a record in itself. Rwanda signed the Framework Agreement this year on January 9, taking the total number of signatories to 25 countries. Within seven months of the opening of the Framework Agreement for signature in November 2016, the total numbers of signatories to the ISA framework agreement have reached 31, with six countries ratifying the agreement, a record in itself. The ISA as a legal entity will come into existence once 15 countries ratify and deposit the framework agreement. India and France were the first two countries to ratify the Framework Agreement. Fiji has also completed the ratification process and will deposit its instrument with the MEA in the next few weeks. The ISA initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and former French President Francois Hollande. The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. Prime Minister Modi and Hollande jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram on January 25, last year. Launching the Secretariat, Prime Minister of India stated that the ISA as a potent tool for mutual cooperation among the member countries for mutual gains through enhances solar energy utilization. The total Government of India support including the normative cost of the land will be about Rs. USD 62 million. Of this USD 27 million will be utilized for creating building infrastructure and recurring expenditure. The recurring expenditure on ISA will be met from voluntary contributions from member countries, bilateral and multilateral agencies; other appropriate institutions; and from interest earned from the augmented corpus to be built up. In addition to contribution for creating ISA corpus fund, Government of India has offered training support for ISA member countries at National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) and also support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) also announced contribution of US $ 1 million each to the ISA corpus fund. The Indian Government has set aside USD 2 billion for solar projects in Africa out of Government of India's US$10 Billion concessional Line of Credit for Africa. The LOC will be extended to all those African countries that have signed and ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement. (ANI)
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