Africa gov't urged to promote energy supply projects

16:54, March 02, 2011      

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The African Union (AU) and other regional bodies must support and promote "huge" continental and regional energy supply and mining projects to ensue that Africa resources are fully utilized and that the continent has enough energy supplies, energy experts made the call at the ongoing 2011 Energy Indaba.

The three-day event started Tuesday in Johannesburg with the theme "Solution for Africa" combining both a conference and exhibition. It brought together world energy experts as well as energy providers in both the traditional and alternative markets.

"Some of these natural resources that we have, (we) should start to see them as not belong to one specific country but should be seen as a resource available for Africa and the region and they way to get the region to cooperate on those resources is through these regional political bodies that are representatives of many countries," South Africa National Energy Association (SANEA) Chairman Brian Statham said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

SANEA is an independent registered company and non profit organization representing corporate and individual members from diverse energy sector of South Africa.

The conference is designed to explore ways of how Africa can take advantage of its resources to bridging the energy gap in the continent.

"The AU, the SADC and other should start discussing how to make use of those resources that Africa has to the benefit of everybody. Because some of them are so large that a single country doesn't have the capacity to actual exploit those resources on its own," Statham who is also conference chairman told Xinhua.

Speaking to Xinhua, World Energy Council (WEC) Secretary General Christoph Frei said regional projects "must be promoted by leadership and governments," because they are very crucial, they create development in the continent while increasing peace and security that will also attract more foreign investors.

"These big regional projects bring bigger advantage to the region," Frei said. "Africa bodies must promote inter-connectors on the electricity side this increase peace and security; increase the infrastructure, increases development within the region. These projects are extremely important especially if they can reach the poor because greater population in Africa is found in rural are," he added.

WEC Vice Chair for Africa Abubaker Sambo agrees that big projects will bring development in Africa while insisting that if not properly managed "they will not necessarily bring the energy and development to those who are in rural communities suffering most from poverty."

Source: Xinhua

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