Power shortage 'single biggest hurdle for African development'
12 November 2009
Economic development in Africa is impeded mainly by inadequate access to power supplies and the continent is losing two percentage points of growth every year because overall infrastructure is lacking.
This is according to a new report entitled Africa's Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation, which stated that compared to global tariffs, energy in Africa is expensive to generate at $0.18 kw/h - yet remains partially unavailable because of unsatisfactory maintenance and aging machinery.
Commissioned by Infrastructure Consortium Africa and conducted by the World Bank and other organisations, the Africa Infrastructure County Diagnostic (AICD) research also found that 30 countries across the region suffer from chronic electricity shortages and the overall capacity of 48 nations in sub-Saharan Africa - 68 gigawatts - totals no more than that of Spain.
The AICD report concludes that addressing Africa's chronic power problems will only be achieved through major spending in power infrastructure, of about $41 billion per year over the next ten years. Even with efficiency savings, a funding gap of $26 billion a year would remain.