8 October 2007 – Donald Kaberuka, African Development Bank group president, has called for faster and more effective solutions on energy gaps for Africa.

In an interview in Uganda last week, Mr Kaberuka said African countries had experienced growth over five consecutive years for the first time in three decades, but problems besetting the continent had to be addressed in order to sustain such growth.

"It will be very difficult for many of our countries to maintain the current growth of 6 or 7 per cent unless we make a leap forwards in terms of energy and bringing down the cost of business, attract investments and we must permit the economies to continue expanding," he said.

Mr Kaberuka was on a three day assessment tour to Uganda and paid a visit on Tuesday to two African Development Bank funded projects – the Bujagali hydropower project and a water project in Mpigi.

The 250MW $799 million Bujagali project is co-financed by the World Bank Group ($360 million), ADB ($110 million), The European Development Bank (100 million Euro), Proparco/AFD ($60 million) DEG/KfW ($45 million), FMO ($35 million), and equity contribution from Industrial Promotions Services and US-based Sithe Global at $150 million.

The Bank is a major financier of about 15 projects in Uganda with a value of $500 million and is the second largest financier of the Bujagali project.

"This project is important for Uganda and East Africa and for the kind of the interconnection project. It is an example of a good public/private sector partnership," he said.