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‘Speed up smart mix energy adoption’

CYNTHIA MWALE, Lusaka
WITH the current energy deficit being faced in Africa, the continent has no choice but to move rapidly towards a smart mix of energy systems if it is to grow and prosper in step with the rest of the world, a Nigerian energy expert has said.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, on Friday, Oando Group chief executive Jubril Tinubu said conventional energy grids will not meet the massive and growing demand anytime soon, so private-sector involvement, small-scale projects and renewable technology should be developed to fill shortfalls.
“There is limited capital available for large power generation projects, traditionally built by governments, yet there is explosive demand. This makes power generation a good business opportunity – along with its obvious social benefits,” Mr Tinubu said.
Mr Tinubu called for governments to create enabling policies to allow the private sector to spur growth in the power sector.
And African Union deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha said Africa does not have time for traditional power roll-outs.
Mr Mwencha, who is former Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa secretary general, said Africa has to transform.
“The continent cannot transform without power. It cannot educate its children without power. Obviously, we need to move to a power mix, a diversity of technologies,” he said.
More than half of the people in Africa have no access to power on a daily basis.
Energy is a topical issue being discussed globally and Zambia will next week host a high-profile African Development Bank annual meeting that has attracted over 4,000 delegates to table the issue of “Energy and Climate Change”.




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