On November 19, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation within the energy sector between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources was signed by Acting Mission Director of USAID/Central Asia, David Brown and Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Usmonali Usmonzada.
The United States government is committed to working with the government of Tajikistan on energy policy and promoting energy diversification. Acting Mission Director Mr. Brown noted that, “USAID is very pleased to formalize our collaboration to assist with domestic industry sector reform, which includes reducing operational and management inefficiencies and putting the domestic energy industry on a path to financial and operational sustainability.”
It is important to note that Tajikistan’s Government has already taken several important steps towards improving management of the energy sector by implementing recommendations offered by the Corporate Solutions’ work that is sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Working collaboratively in support of this ADB sponsored program, USAID consultants will cooperate with Corporate Solutions to assist in implementation of Barki Tojik’s restructuring.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding launches a new cooperative initiative between the United States and Tajikistan by connecting the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and the Barki Tojik Company through USAID’s Energy Links project. Through Energy Links, USAID intends to provide technical assistance and advisory services to the Ministry and a wide range of capacity building programs that will support both the Ministry and Barki Tojik.
Acting Mission Director Brown also stated, “We support the establishment of an efficient, sustainable, and market-based regime for both electricity and trans-boundary water-resource management. This will help generate investment in national and regional energy infrastructure, as well as expand electricity trade within the Central Asian region and between Central Asia and neighboring regions.”
The U.S. government, through USAID, is also supporting the Secretariat of the CASA-1000 Transmission project. Tajikistan’s power supply and transmission resources are crucial to the success of this project and, in turn, the CASA-1000 project is crucial to the further development of Tajikistan’s ability to market its electric energy not only to Central Asia but to South Asia as well. This marketing effort will provide needed income and opportunities for energy supply alternatives to help offset potential winter power deficits that Tajikistan may experience in the future.
The USAID Energy Links Project is one of the many assistance projects made possible by the American people. Since 1992, the United States has invested over $1 billion in programs and humanitarian aid to improve the standard of living for the people of Tajikistan through support to Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.