Africa’s alarming energy deficit hampering industrialization – AfDB

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has asserted that the failure of Africa to industrialize has its roots in the alarming rate of energy poverty on the continent.

Akinwumi Adesina
Akinwumi Adesina

by Justice Lee Adoboe

According to him, the continent today simply doesn’t have energy but just simply managing to light up little places.

 Akinwumi Adesina
Akinwumi Adesina
Adesina who was elected in May as the President of the continent’s number one development bank told Xinhua in an interview here that AfDB would as a priority help end that energy poverty on the continent.

“Africa’s energy poverty is the highest in the world, Africa energy production capacity is the same as Spain or even the same level as Belgium; relatively small countries but look at us, a continent of about of over a billion people,” the top bank executive observed.

Research by AfDB says that the average in terms of energy per capita globally is 7,000 kw/h but in Africa, this is just around 300 kw/h, and 400 khw.

This energy poverty, he asserted results in the higher tariffs Africans have to pay for the little power they consume.

While the average cost of power is in Africa is 10 U.S Dollars per kilowatt hour (kw/h). the comparative figures for Europe is 15 cents per kw/h, and 10 cents per kw/h,in the United States (US).

“So you can see, we are very far off in terms of energy per capita. As a result we cannot industrialize; Small and medium size businesses cannot work; Kids go to school and they can’t have power to learn; and therefore you cut off your ability to have top notch learning going on,” Adesina intimated.

Almost all sub-Sahara African counties are experiencing crippling energy crisis as a result of the deficit on the continent.

It is estimated that 620 million Africans have no access to electricity, while 700 million lack access to clean cooking energy; so rely on charcoal, and kerosene, resulting in the death of some 600,000 Africans annually mostly women and children through indoor air pollution.

The bank has therefore established a transformative partnership and the Africa Renewable energy initiative that will bring together strategic partners, to be able to accelerate universal access to energy to power Africa over the next 10 years to 2025.

He said the bank would also work with African countries to increase the share of their GDP going into the energy sector and work with the countries on fundamental reforms of the sector in areas of Cost elective tariffs and other reforms that will attract private sector into the sector.

To him, the reason it is important to light up and power the continent is; “By lighting up and powering Africa, we will unlock all the economic, educational potentials, of this continent, you create a lot of jobs massively.

“That is the reason that we have to do that. No country in the world, has ever developed without electricity and no region in the world has developed without electricity,” the official said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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