Experts in the energy sector have called for governments and private sector to play collaborative role in coming up with policies that will reduce the existing energy gaps in Africa.
The call was made during the DW Debate dubbed Towards a New Energy Future at the WEFAfrica2016 forum in Kigali, this May 13, 2016.
Statistics indicate that 1.1 billion people around the world, mostly poor, have no access to electricity. Of these, 591 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On agenda was how Africa can leapfrog towards developing a smart energy system as energy shortages across the African continent remain a significant challenge to its economic development, but the potential for renewable electricity generation remains enormous.
The panel also discussed ways of leveraging renewable, digital and energy-efficient technologies, scaling investments into large power infrastructure, strengthening regional integration
“We need to make smarter energy decisions in national policies, said Jubril Adewale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc “We need to look at a continental policy and agenda for energy. We will never be an exporter of energy until we lower our cost of energy/production”.
On the issue of scaling investments into large power infrastructure Erastus J. O. Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission said “With energy prices as they are the answer is transformation and diversification”
Earlier on Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB) said that Africa revolution is still in a setback as a result of some necessities like electricity while the continent is endowed with vast energy natural resources.
“We cannot talk of any revolution when we still cannot even provide the necessary things like electricity. We need universal access to electricity within the next 4 years. “We need cost effective broadband” Adesina said.
The panelists resolved that there is urgency required to solve the energy gap in #Africa so as to impact on real lives of Africans
The African Development Bank’s new President has promoted energy as one of the Bank’s top priorities since taking office this year. Under the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative, the World Bank Group and the United Nations have also committed to achieving universal access to electricity by 2030 with a particular focus on Africa.