Addis Ababa May 10/2017 Sufficient electrical power supply at affordable price is important to ensure sustainable development in Africa, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said.
Speaking at the opening of the 6th World Hydropower Congress (WHC) underway in Addis Ababa for the first time in Africa,the premier said adequate electrical power supply needs to be fulfilled to realize Africa's sustainable development goals.
He said Africa is exerting efforts to develop electrical power from water and renewable energy resources to ensure sustainable development.
The PM admitted that there is lack of financial resources to generate electric power from water resources in Africa, but urged Africans to encourage the participation of the private sector to simplify the problem in this regard.
Ethiopia has given priority to developing the sector and this would help the country to access sustainable electric power supply through preventing climate change, he added.
Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Dr. Sileshi Bekele said on his part this is the time for Africa to participate in development by investing its resources to benefit more from its untapped water resources through generating renewable energy.
Even if Africa possesses about 12 percent of the global hydropower potential, it produces only about 3 percent, he added.
The majority of African countries, including Ethiopia, require investment finance, technology and capacity to advance hydropower development, for which “it is high time toinvest to harness the big dividend.”
According to him, most of the countries have already enhanced their policy, institutions and partnership platform to be conducive to investors.
Ethiopia has been undertaking various activities to provide electric power for domestic and neighboring countries consumption, the minister stated.
Dr. Sileshi pointed out that about 97 percent electric power supply of the country is generated from renewable energy and 89 percent from water.
Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Kwesi Quartey, said access to modern and sustainable energy services is crucial to achieving sustainable, transformative and inclusive development in Africa.
He noted that Agenda 2063 calls for ensuring efficient, reliable, modern and sustainable energy access for all Africans, which is crucial to achieving an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
According to the deputy chairperson, hydropower is the most cost-effective and technological matured power generation technology among all renewable energy resources.
Developing the hydropower potential will enable Africa to meet its climate change mitigation and low carbon development objectives, he stressed.
Dr. Quartey finally called upon financial institutions, the private and public sectors, civil societies and research institutions, among others, from all parts of the world to join in the endeavors.