African leaders urged to invest more in energy projects
AFRICAN leaders should invest more resources in renewable energy projects to address energy supply deficit in the continent where 60 percent of the population is in need of electricity.
The head of Natural Resources Institute of African Resources and Studies at the University of Cairo, Egypt, Dr Abbas Sharaky, says the continent was rich with natural resources, which, if put to good use, may enhance industrialisation and economic development.
He was addressing students from 25 African countries including Zimbabwe at the ongoing 50th training for young African journalists here.
“It is sad that among the world’s top 50 poor countries, Africa has 35, yet we have natural resources, which if put to good use may address some of our problems,” said Dr Sharaky.
“We are lagging behind as a continent in terms of power generation infrastructure hence African leaders are urged to come up with mechanisms to promote self-sustenance and the use of renewable energy.
“In addition, we should shift from the mindset of using water only for agriculture purposes. It is very critical that we increase funding for construction of hydro-electricity plants, especially in the Great Lakes region to reduce the deficit in terms of power supply.”
He said power supply issues were rife in the most remote areas of the under developed countries.
Dr Sharaky also said the availability of electricity would unlock investment opportunities in manufacturing and mining sectors. He said it was also important for governments to come up with inclusive policies that seek to upscale self-sustenance from grassroots level.
“Some of the potential sources of renewable resources in Africa include water, wind, bio-diversity, solar and minerals,” he said.