Powering up Africa’s economies

Powering up Africa’s economies

Powering up Africa’s economies A poor neighbourhood in Cape Town, South Africa, in the shadow of a high tension power line: Africa’s poor need access to affordable, reliable electricity to improve their lives. Photograph: Reuters / Mike Hutchings People in Zanzibar danced in the streets in June to celebrate the resumption of power after a month long blackout. Zanzibar, part of the United Republic of Tanzania, gets its electricity from the grid on the Tanzanian mainland, through underwater cables. The blackout occurred after cable lines supplying Zanzibar failed following a surge in demand. Compra Zapatillas New Balance cheap albion gold Andrew Heaney Baseball Jersey For a month, residents paid about $10 daily to fuel diesel generators for power. Nike Free Run Mens Shoes
Small businesses requiring refrigeration or welding had to close because they could not afford the extra cost. Derrick Henry Jerseys While Zanzibar has suffered the most prolonged recent blackout, its plight is not unique. Canotta Utah Jazz asics tiger donna In April 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that some 30 of the 48 countries in sub Saharan Africa have “suffered acute energy crises” in recent years. But solutions exist. Beyond building up basic generating capacity, countries are moving towards “power pooling.” Regional http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ systems of power generation and distribution allow countries with high production capacity to transmit their excess electricity to countries with deficits. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames wit Devin Gardner – Michigan Wolverines The larger market that a regional power pool could potentially serve is also more attractive for investors and donor organizations, compared to small national electricity grids that serve smaller populations. Canotte New York Knicks By connecting with neighbours, countries can also benefit from regional investments, instead of struggling to finance their own small and often inefficient power sectors. asics femme Such regional solutions, notes Mr. Womens Air Jordan 4 Ram Babu, the chief power engineer at the African Development Bank (ADB), are “in the spirit” of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the continent’s blueprint for economic, social and political progress adopted by African leaders in 2001. Faster growth, lagging capacity According to Mr. Terrell Suggs Ravens Jerseys Air Jordan 13 Retro Babu, recent power blackouts happen because the continent’s power infrastructure is poorly maintained, prone to collapse and unable to keep up with surging demand. buy albion silver Until recently, he told Africa Renewal, governments invested little in power utilities, but demanded that the utilities supply electricity to the public at low rates. Nike Pas Cher Teddy Bridgewater College Jerseys As a result, he explains, “Many utilities are heavily indebted. They are selling power at a cost sometimes lower than that of production.

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  • So they are making losses and have hardly any resources with which to maintain their current infrastructure.” The situation has been worsened by increasing demand, Mr. Babu adds, driven by Africa’s growing population, especially in urban settlements. albion silver “Unfortunately the power supply has not kept up.” An electricity sub station in Kenya: Much of Africa’s existing power generating capacity is aging and needs to be upgraded. cheap albion gold Photograph: Reuters / Antony Njuguna Vijay Modi, an engineering professor at Columbia University in New York, cited another factor. buy albion gold “African economies,” he noted in an interview with Africa Renewal, “have been growing rapidly in the last couple of years.” That growth, however, has come after a long period of economic stagnation during which there was little new demand for power and thus little incentive to maintain existing infrastructure, let alone to create new means of generating electricity. Nike Air Yeezy Womens adidas hamburg hombre “It is critical that just as economic growth rates pick up in Africa, energy access and supply does not become one of the bottlenecks,” Mr. Modi says. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, accounts for 46 per cent of Africa’s power generating capacity, North Africa for 34 per cent and the rest of Africa for only 20 per cent. Air Jordan Retro 4

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  • Moreover, a quarter of sub Saharan Africa’s power plants are not in operating condition and existing infrastructure rarely extends beyond the main cities. All of sub Saharan Africa’s generating capacity combined does not exceed that of Spain. Maglie Cleveland Cavaliers Southern Africa hard hit Southern Africa, one of Africa’s most productive regions, has been hit especially hard. Roshe Run Femme Pas Cher In January, South Africa experienced rolling blackouts that literally brought cities to a standstill as traffic lights cheap jerseys went dark. Canotte Atlanta Hawks Small businesses suffered and mining companies were asked to cut down their power use. nike air max chaussure To meet internal demand, Eskom, South Africa’s state owned power generating utility, reduced power exports in January and early February, causing regional blackouts. Dennis Pitta Ravens Jerseys This affected Botswana and Namibia in particular, since they import more than 50 per cent of their power needs from Eskom. asics gel quantum 360 uomo Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland were also hit. asics gel noosa uomo Nike Air Max 2016 Dames Groen Under Armour UA Curry 2

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  • The blackouts were hardly unexpected. As early as 1998, the South African government acknowledged that it had to invest in electricity infrastructure or face a shortage by 2007. To address the issue, the government hoped to privatize Eskom to bring in new capital and make it more efficient. Fjallraven Kanken Infantil But parliamentary deputies opposed privatization, preferring to keep Eskom as a government owned utility. nike air max 95 homme

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  • With the question of privatization pending, no funds for expanding capacity were allotted in government budgets. By January 2008, the utility was unable to cope with demand. buy albion gold “When we re looked at the demand in 2006, it had increased significantly because of new mines, due to the high demand for copper on the world market,” Mr.

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  • albion gold Raleru said. “This rate of growth did not only take Botswana by surprise, but countries like Zambia also saw an increase in copper mining.” Zambian Secretary to the Treasury Evans Chibiliti confirmed that assessment. Cheap Nike Shoes Sale UK New Balance 446 m?skie Canotte Indiana Pacers He told the media that his country now faces “a serious power deficit, which poses a major risk to the sustainability and acceleration of recent gains made in the economy.” According to the World Bank, the demand for power in Southern Africa is growing at about 4 per cent a year. To meet this growth, utilities in the region must not only maintain current capacity, but expand supply rapidly if they want to avoid holding back economic growth. Huge investments needed Expanding power production will not come cheap. new balance homme u420 bleu vert The South African government estimates that just keeping up with growing demand from industries and the population will require doubling its generating capacity by 2025 at a cost of $171 bn. Denard Robinson College Jerseys Of that amount, $45 bn will be needed before 2013. Chaussures Asics Femme To raise some of those funds, the government has approved power rate hikes of about 27.5 per cent since 2007. Further hikes of about 20 25 per cent are expected over the next three years. Vancouver Grizzlies The increases have stirred alarm and protests from the powerful trade unions, which fear the impact on the poor and worry that mines and industries will have to cut power use, thus jeopardizing production and jobs. Botswana currently imports most of its electricity from Eskom, through a contract that expires in 2012. Buty Adidas Damskie cheap albion silver While it has been cheaper for Botswana to import power than to produce it locally, the government is now supporting construction of an ambitious coal power station in Mmamabula, an area in the country with an estimated 3 bn tonnes of unused coal resources. The project will include two 2,500 megawatt power stations, a coal export unit and a coal to methane plant that is being developed by CIC Energy, a consortium of private investors. New Balance 996 mujer But there have been problems. Securing an agreement with regional power suppliers to buy the extra production has taken time, pushing back the anticipated start of operations by two years, to 2013. Costs for the first phase also jumped from $5.5 bn to $9.5 bn.

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  • Nevertheless, Botswana’s image as a stable democracy with relative economic success has been vital in securing the private sector’s commitment to the project. When done, the $28 bn Mmamabula facility will be one of the largest independent power projects ever built. If successful, it would turn Botswana from a net importer into a power exporting country. The IEA estimates that overall, Africa needs about $344 bn to create additional electricity capacity, upgrade installed equipment and extend transmission and distribution networks to households and factories. Fjallraven Kanken No.2 The massive scale of required investment has prompted governments to ask for assistance. At a meeting with officials of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in February, Kenneth Konga, Zambia’s water and development minister, asked donor agencies to help the region meet the gap in financing power generation. “Zambia and the region are going through a challenging period,” Mr. Konga said. The deficit can only be resolved “if all the stakeholders come together and pull in the same direction.” Zambia is estimated to need $2 bn to raise power output to meet its expanding demand. cheap albion gold The country has sometimes been obliged to ration power to households and smaller industries to maintain supply to the copper and cobalt mines, the economy’s mainstay.

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