Africa holds significant energy resources and boasts a high-level of energy self-sufficiency for the region as a whole. The continent holds respectively 9,7%, 8,2% and 5,9% of the world’s total proven resources of crude oil, natural gas and hard oil. It also boasts 12,4% of the world’s economically exploitable hydropower capability.
“Nevertheless, these resources are not well developed to meet the growing needs of the continent,” says Dr Latsoucabé Fall, regional manager for Africa of the World Economic Council (WEC).
Fall is also one of the keynote speakers at the Energy Indaba 2010 that will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on February 24-26, 2010. He will speak on ‘Access to Energy: Empowering Africa’s Development’.
“There are huge prospects for the development of these resources, and significant opportunities for technology deployment and investments channelling that are supported by high profitability rates, cheap labour costs and low production costs,” says Dr Fall.
He adds that “driven by the need of clean and modern energy, solar energy, wind power, hydropower schemes and bio-energy can become an engine for economic and social development in all African countries, ; and thus, helping meeting local energy needs, creating jobs, and contributing as clean energy to preserve the environment.”
The WEC has also found that energy in Africa is also being challenged by:
* Weak energy infrastructure and facilities, and that huge financial difficulties are hindering the sustainable development of the continent;
* Weak commercial energy consumption, representing only three per cent of the world’s total, and overwhelmingly dominated by traditional biomass use in an inefficient and unhealthy way; and
* Low access to modern energy; for example, electricity access is about 35 per cent for the region and less than three per cent for the rural areas.
The Energy Indaba will discuss ways and means to overcome these challenges and to explore sustainable energy solutions for Africa.