African Countries Urged to Mobilize Energy, Foster Integration & Connectivity

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Addis Ababa September 29/2020(ENA) African countries need to mobilize their energy resources, foster regional integration and power connectivity to benefit their populations deprived of access to power, Global Energy Inter Connection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) Africa’s Committee Chairman Sileshi Bekele said.

Speaking at a virtual meeting held to commence the work of the committee formed to represent Africa in GEIDCO, Sileshi Bekele, who is also Ethiopia’s Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, stressed the necessity of establishing an African committee and undertaking cooperation seminar on the energy sector as it opens a big opportunity to hold a seminar on power access in the future by bringing together leaders, stakeholders and experts in the energy field.

He added that deliberations about project developments and capacity building in Africa’s energy industry by establishing such a committee scales up power connectivity in the continent.

Africa has multiple challenges and citizens life should be improved, the chairman stressed, adding that formation of such an African committee is extremely imperative to fortify south-south energy cooperation network.

On top of the lack of access to education, health and potable water, Sileshi said the lower access to electricity supply and personal energy consumption in most parts of Africa is a heavy assignment for the African leaders.

Stating that lack of access to electricity supply is a hindrance to social and economic developments in Africa, he noted that Ethiopia’s 55 percent of the estimated 110 population lives with no access to electricity.

In conformation with the Global 2025 goal for electric power accessibility, Ethiopia has prepared a National Electrification Program Roadmap, he pointed out.

The country envisages reaching a total of 20,000 Megawatts of power potential for domestic consumption and export by 2030 by adding GERD and other projects to the existing 4,413MW.

So, creating cooperation, integration and connectivity is imperative, considering the growing demand for affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern electric power in Africa, he stressed.

Africa, with the growing economy and endowed with multiple energy resources, has to work on and attract investments in hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind in order to compete  with the other continents.

To achieve the goals envisioned, African countries need to mobilize energy resources, scale up cooperation, foster power connectivity and integration, facilitate global competitiveness in the energy field, and comply with the 2030 UN and AU’s 2063 agenda, the chairman noted.

As a member country, Ethiopia is pushing for cross border infrastructural developments, building power connectivity institutions, and developing healthy energy sources to create regional cooperation and integration.

He further revealed that Ethiopia, besides the existing power connectivity with Djibouti and Sudan, is planning to add Kenya, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Somalia in the greater Horn of Africa.

Global Energy Inter Connection Development and Cooperation Organization is a non-profit international organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development of energy worldwide.

It was launched in March 2016 with its headquarters in Beijing, China.