South Africa’s Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has urged the prioritisation of energy affordability in order to attract investment.
During his keynote address at the Africa oil and power conference held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, he said it was imperative in order to create jobs.
“We have witnessed wild swings in the prices of crude oil and these impact not only consumer countries but also producer countries as well,” he said.
“This scenario prevails despite the fact that this great continent hosts some of the major energy resources such as potential hydropower from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).”
He said Africa also has vast oil and gas resources which could transform the continent and spearhead industrialisation “if these resources were to be exploited and also used internally to produce the much-needed energy to drive our economies.”
Radebe said energy poverty in Africa was a very “serious” concern and required a concerted effort to address the problem. The coalition of different energy stakeholders to resolve the challenge, which remained a stumbling block to Africa’s development, would be crucial.
“Approximately 1.19 billion people, about 60% of the global population lived without electricity in 2014. About 2.7 billion people, 38% of the global population are without clean cooking facilities. Numbers and trends differ greatly by region,” he said, adding that the vast majority of people without access to electricity and clean cooking facilities are in Sub-Saharan Africa.