Africa can leap-frog its energy production by benefiting from the progress in science and technology, in moving to climate friendly energy production systems, which are less expensive and more durable, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has said.
Speaking at an Ad hoc Group Meeting (AEGM) on the Energy Crisis in Southern Africa: Perspectives for the future in Lilongwe last week, Southern Africa Regional Director Said Adejumobi said Africa does not need to reinvent the wheel in its search for energy security as it can tap into existing technology to define a new path to the future.
“The energy crisis is the greatest challenge of our time, which is not only affecting Southern Africa, but the entire continent. No less than 32 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to World Bank, are in dire energy situation”, Adejumobi noted.
He called for Africa to fix her energy crisis as no industrialisation can occur without adequate energy supply which is the life-wire of a modern economy and society.
He called on Southern Africa to look for strategic options at national and regional levels; increased prioritisation and resources allocation to the energy sector and right policy choices on the best alternative route to take to facilitate energy security.
Secretary to the Treasury, Ronald Mangani told experts at the meeting, that crucial investment is important to remedy the current energy crisis in Southern Africa.
He said many factors have been attributed to the current power shortages obtaining in the region as well as the slow pace of recovery from the situation.
He said that Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) developed Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) to address the power challenges.
“In this case the SAPP intends to provide reliable and economical electricity supply to the consumers of each of the SAPP members, consistent with the reasonable utilisation of natural resources and the effect on the environment,” he said.
Mangani said that Malawi is doing all it can to address the energy challenges in the country by rehabilitating, upgrading and modernising the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom’s) generation, transmission and distribution capacity, among other things.