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Africa’s energy sector needs special attention

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Panelists at a symposium in Accra have stressed the need for special attention to be given to Africa’s energy sector to ensure sustainable power supply to attract more investments.

The panelists were part of symposium to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of the Volta River Authority (VRA), which was on the theme: “The Challenge of Providing Electricity for our People.”

It was the last in the series organised by VRA to round up activities to mark the anniversary. It was attended by energy experts from Ghana and other African countries.

Dr Joseph Makoju, Chairman of the West Africa Power Pool, said the unreliable power supply in parts of Africa was deterring investors from coming to the Continent, which was drawing back its development.

He said though Africa was blessed with a lot of river sources, which could be used to generate hydro energy, the resources were underutilised thus leaving a huge number of African villages without electricity.

Dr Makoju said Africa constituted about 15 per cent of the world population but generated less than two per cent of global electricity with less than 30 per cent of the people of Africa having direct access to power supply.

“Africa is energy rich but most of its people are living in darkness.”

Dr Majoku said Africa’s electricity was more expensive compared with other continents, a situation that was hampering development.

He said for Africa’s renewable energy solution to be addressed there was the need to focus on solar, wind, biomass and mini and micro hydro power supply for the people.

Dr A.K. Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary of Ghana’s Energy Commission, said there was no political and economic stability in parts of Africa and this was preventing investors from coming to the Continent.

He called for collaboration in regional cross-border energy projects to ensure that African countries helped one another in addressing their energy needs, which could also address the poverty challenge and improve education.

He lauded the West Africa Gas Pipe Project, which, he said, was useful and must be improved upon to solve the energy needs.

Source: GNA

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