Africa Needs Power -African Development Bank says

Living in Darkness: A resident finds alternative light during a power blackout. Photo credit: Antonio Muchave

Inform Africa News – Investment:

Africa needs to attract private investment to its deficient power sector and create regional power pools to maximise resources, an African Development Bank official said Monday.

“We must as a matter of priority encourage private sector participation in this sector,” Emannuel Nzabanita, of the bank’s energy finance department, told a power conference.

In sub-Saharan Africa over 580 million people live without electricity. Over 80% of the sub-Saharan population depends on fuelwood, charcoal, and animal dung for cooking energy. Solid fuels used by the poor, pollutes the indoor air and causes more deaths than malaria.

Ten million women and children die from the wood they routinely search for to use as fuel. Cutting down trees for fuel causes land degradation and other related problems to the environment.

Alim Bangura, an indigenous and determined youth from Sierra Leone added that an effective electricity power supply in Africa would definitely boost the contingent industrial capabilities and improve the public sector development. It is the basic requirement for every country to compete in this fast changing 21st century economy. Mr. Bangura also encourages change 2011 for Africa, follow him on twitter @change2011 and support the movement.

According to Kevin Onuma, a member and co-founder of AfricansConnect. More than enough resources exist in Africa to meet its energy needs, and we need to explore and utilize them. There are alternative energy and fuel sources that Africa needs to tap into such as solar power, wind power, biofuel, etc. India and many other economies are already benefiting from this environmentally friendly resources, and Africa needs to do the same. “The sooner the better” he concluded.

Nearly 20 percent of Africans have access to electricity, with 30 sub-Saharan countries suffering from chronic shortages leading to forced shutdowns to ease pressure on grids that often leak power.

“We first of all need to resolve the efficiency issues and then also look for money to invest. Regional power pools should be created and countries should co-operate with neighbours,” Emannuel Nzabanitahe said.

“By pooling our resources together, we are able to exploit these resources at a cheap cost,” he added.

“There must be a change. Most African countries seem to think that they can do things alone.”

Africa needs large-scale infrastructure spending, requiring private investment to boost power supplies, he insisted

“The way is the private sector,” including for the distribution sector, Nzabanita said, but with rural areas remaining a state responsibility.

-InformAfrica reports – Investment News for Africa.

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