The challenge of Africa’s energy needs to be addressed most urgently with due consideration to sustainability, affordability, and accessibility in the energy development efforts, has noted Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
The Premier made the remarks on Tuesday at the opening of the 6th edition of World Hydropower Congress (WHC) taking place on May 9-11 in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, bringing together leaders and specialists with hydropower-related responsibilities.
The biennial conference, which is coming to Africa for the first time, emphasizes environmental and social aspects to look into during hydroelectric project planning stages, and a commitment to better hydro in an age when resource management is more important than ever.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister has reiterated that Africa’s development requires investment in reliable energy, underlining that development is unthinkable in the absence of adequate and affordable electric energy.
Despite huge resource potential, Africa’s electric sector is underdeveloped and leaves a large part of the population on the continent to a life without access to modern electric energy, which compromised economic growth and development as a result, he noted.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Quartey Thomas Kwesi, stated that less than 10 percent of the hydropower potential in Africa is exploited currently.
He reiterated that current global discussions and development frameworks have identified access to sustainable energy as a catalyst to promoting economic, social and human development.
The AU Commission strongly recognizes hydropower as a major means to expand and improve the access to cost effective electricity on the continent as well as enhancing the integration of the continent, noted the Deputy Chairperson.
The Chair of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, Liu Zhenya of China, noted that African energy development still faces many difficulties and challenges.
He said African Energy Interconnection is the key to energy transition and sustainable development in Africa.
It was revealed on the occasion that more than 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity and most households rely on traditional biomass for cooking. Enditem
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