The senior energy advisor of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Professor Mosad Elmissiry, says Africa is committed to fast tracking large-scale provision of energy.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of Africa Energy Indaba in Johannesburg, Elmissiry said the continent is prioritising its energy generation and transmission to drive economic growth and job creation, Ghana News reported.
The NEPAD official said: “We want to increase people’s access to energy and to make the access affordable, secure and reliable. We are focusing on massive infrastructural projects as a faster way to increase access to energy.”
Media reported that in January 2016, African heads of state and governments approved the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Energy Vision, setting energy provision as a high priority.
“Governments should play a leading role in working with unions, civil societies and private sectors to drive infrastructural projects.” Elmissiry said.
The professor said this year the programme is targeting to link the East and Southern African power pools, through Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia and connect Central and West African power pools through Kenya and Tanzania, media reported.
“At the continental level, we want to connect four power pool corridors and eventually have one massive power pool. China has been playing a crucial role in this,” Elmissiry said.
He added that the organisation is also looking forward to working with other development partners such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Bankable renewable energy projects
Media cited the Professor stating that one of the challenges facing African countries is to have bankable renewable energy projects since priority projects have to be first identified by countries before planning and feasibility studies are conducted.
It is reported that PIDA is anticipating an increase of Africa’s installed power generation capacity to 700GW by 2040.
Through full implementation of the programme, the continent will reap savings on electricity production costs of $30 billion a year through power interconnectors, media reported.