En­ergy gap key to African growth

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

DAVOS, Switzer­land: A lack of ac­cess to elec­tric­ity pre­cluded Africa from fully par­tic­i­pat­ing in a new in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion, and pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment in power gen­er­a­tion was key to spurring Africa’s growth, world eco­nomic lead­ers were told yesterday.

Speak­ing dur­ing a ses­sion called “Pow­er­ing Africa”, at the 47th An­nual Meet­ing of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said: “In the past, we’ve re­lied on gov­ern­ments to power our coun­tries; we now need to bring in the pri­vate sec­tor to help em­power our economies and peo­ple.”

It is es­ti­mated that clos­ing the en­ergy gap on the African con­ti­nent, where half of all peo­ple do not have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity, would re­sult in 30 per­cent higher eco­nomic growth by 2040.

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