Infrastructure enterprises key to African development

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Memory Mutenda

Cairo, Egypt-According to Dr Sherif Alkhoraiby, founder of Partner of Experts for Development, infrastructure enterprises such as water and electricity are key to Africa’s development.

“Electricity and water attract investors, and African countries should find new modern methods to fund infrastructure … and consider public-private partnerships,” said Alkhoraiby.

“Out of 1,250 billion people in Africa, 635 million live in areas with no electricity, which is 57 percent of the population,” said Dr Abbas Sharaky, Head of Department of Natural Resources, Institute of African Research Studies at Cairo University

Sharaky said Africa is rich in renewable and non-renewable resources; renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, wave, geothermal energy and non-renewables such as oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, but it has the lowest electricity supply and generation, making it the darkest continent at night, while 78 percent of the African population depend on biomass for cooking.

He said this when addressing 24 young African journalists at the 50th training course for journalists in Cairo, on November 13.

The training runs from November 11 to 30 and is being attended by young African journalists from Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Nigeria, Niger, Tunisia, Morocco, Eritrea, Burundi, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Egypt.

“Africa should invest more in human resources, tools and equipment to discover more natural resources that will benefit the continent in these areas,” said Sharaky.

The percentages of primary use of energy in Africa by country are: South Africa 21 percent; Nigeria 16 percent; Ethiopia 5 percent; Algeria with 6 percent and Egypt 11 percent – the rest are below 10 percent.

Power generation capacity in sub-Saharan Africa is 35 percent coal – other African countries with no generation import from other countries.

Sharaky also said Africa has very low agricultural production because of the lack of tools to cultivate, and lack of energy to rehabilitate, the land.

*Memory Mutenda is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Windhoek.

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