Kampala, 8 October 2007 – The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, has emphasised the importance of hydro-energy to Africa’s sustainable development.

The President made these remarks on the occasion of his visit to Bujagali, Jinja, some 87 kilometers north-east of Kampala, Uganda.

The project, a public-private partnership, has a capacity of 250MW, which makes it one of Africa’s largest hydropower projects. It also includes construction of 100 km transmission lines.

The total cost of the project is estimated at US$ 735.5 million. The Bank Group is contributing US$ 139 million for the dam and the transmission lines.

Mr. Kaberuka also underscored the importance of the project for Uganda and the East African region.

Energy is critical to boost Africa’s economic growth, Mr. Kaberuka emphasised, adding that “this is the time for Africa to harness its huge hydro-energy potential”, especially as hydro-energy is cheaper and cleaner.

With 7 major rivers (Nile, Niger, Congo, Senegal, Orange, Limpopo and Zambezi) Africa, which holds about 10% of the world hydro-energy potential and, with very low energy per capita consumption level, has so far exploited a small part of its capability.

He highlighted that climate change, the quest for cleaner energy and Africa’s needs for constant power supply clearly underscored the need to boost investment in the hydropower sector while taking into account broader economic and social concerns.

The Bank Group is strongly committed to assist member countries in their effort to further develop their energy potentials.

Press release provided by the African Development Bank