The potential of the Inga and Grand Inga hydro power schemes has been the focus of much discussion over the last few weeks. Any project which has the potential to provide enough power for most of Africa has to be seriously considered, although in the case of the Inga projects, other considerations come into play too.

Particularly, the ongoing civil unrest in the Congo and the resulting challenges of providing secure, reliable power, not to mention working environments for contractors.

The government of the DRC is showing its ongoing commitment to the Inga project by arranging a mission to Kinshasa between 25th May and 1st June. The mission will focus on expertise and financing and will include site visits to a number of installations around the DRC.

According to the government "the acceleration of works for the launch of projects for the reconstruction of basic infrastructures is now urgent for SADC" and more about the developments with the Inga project will be discussed at IPAD Central Africa, which is taking place in Kinshasa between 7 and 9 October.

Access to finance is one of the hot topics to be discussed at the Power Indaba (www.powerindaba.com), which is being hosted in Cape Town from 20 – 22 May. Co-located with African Utility Week, the continent’s largest utility event, the Indaba will examine practical issues surround project finance, risk mitigation strategies and an overview of investment opportunities presented by the energy ministers for the DRC, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.

African Utility Week (www.africanutilityweek.com), focusing on the Why, What and How of the business of utilities in Africa, has been streamlined into three distinct tracks: Generation Africa; Transmission & Distribution Africa; and Metering, Billing/CRM Africa. We invite our readers to join us at the conference in Cape Town.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Claire Volkwyn
Content manager: esiafrica.wpengine.com