“Africa must develop strong policies to enable them adopt to solar and wind power technology” - David Rodgers,
Africa is potentially the world’s largest power market, more than US$40 billion worth of investment annually will be needed if Africa is to meet its predicted energy demand by 2040. This would require a private-sector financing increase of 10 times the current level, clearly an opportunity for private business to help bridge Africa's energy deficits
Energy is the biggest driver of economies, Access to affordable, durable electricity, together with the technology to light up the continent's vast rural area; which is largely cut off from national grids, is becoming the most critical factor in Africa's development. Africa has a growing private-sector market for renewable energy ventures.
The energy markets of many African countries are undergoing a structural shift towards a more integrated renewable energy economy. “Africa must develop strong policies to enable them to adopt solar and wind power technology since the continent still do not have enough supply of energy.” Said David Rodgers, senior climate change specialist with Global Environment Facility, “China’s investment to help make distributed power a reality, coupled with support for proper policies would be very helpful to help African countries achieve their goals for clean and sustainable power.”
Chinese companies have been supporting African countries in developing renewable energy, engaging in solar, hydro, wind and thermal projects. Clean energy projects are part of ten major plans for China-Africa cooperation outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a China-Africa forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa in early December last year.
Africa could be one of the most promising markets for renewal energy in the next decade due to its abundant solar, wind, biomass and geothermal resources if it harnesses these renewable energy resources to help it address power shortages.
However, Africa will require a drastic policy change towards development of the energy sector, In a statement obtained from the President of Beijing Africa Diaspora Initiative Mr. Njoku SaintJerry A., “What we have had in the past has not specifically contributed to any constructive change – It is commendable to enlighten African business owners on the importance of investing in the solar energy business through conference and seminars on green energy and climate change – But this is yet to bring any specific impact to the citizenry whom are direct recipients of these projects.
The investment approach has not been favourable
… investment in energy has to be spearheaded by the private sector and not the government
“It is heartbreaking, government agents, politicians watch industry fold up, hotels collapse, breweries, textile factories, small scale industries owners pack up due to drastic power generation and no effort to revamp any towards creating employment- where there is any mention of creating employment – it is to horde the people back into the redundancy and moribund civil service – where the highest of crime against the state is committed, in the name of Ghost workers, receipt or voucher fraudsters, estacodes to meetings upon conferences – the civil service do not produce anything, it is a house of messengers at ease – living on the excess of government
The politicians who attend these energy conference meetings organized by some responsible agencies and individual across the world with the intent to create a platform of business cooperation owe their respective countries a duty by every means necessary to influence decisions that will compel investors to take advantage of the enormous opportunity the African continent has got to offer.” Said Mr. Njoku.
“Investors should begin to seek for avenues to build confidence with private business owners in Africa, seek for genuine partnership with business men in the private sector because government upon government in Africa do not generate any business, although as important as their participation may appear, it operates a class structure with its roots in imperialists colonial sentiments on aids upon aids disbursement; they do not generate wealth and they do not help to sustain any development, if you quote me wrong you can’t vouch for any government either.
“I have queried the idea of only seeking for business partnership or investment in only government related enterprises and the many of the investors especially from China mentioned Security as their prime concern, as it is believed only the central government could provide such assurance under sovereign guarantee but the unfortunate things is; in most cases, the business starts there and end there or is engaged in an endless spiral of policy fluctuations – Most of the investment or ideas on industrial revolution were designed by individuals in private establishment and not civil servants in government establishment, most times, the comfort level in most government offices do not enforce creative thinking and these are the same people the investors are going to sit at table with discussing partnership on industry and economic development, said Mr. Njoku
“My candid opinion is, Let the private sector align with government establishment or let the investors seek for Private firms whom has established partnership with the central government, while the private enterprise provides the expertise, government could provide the guarantees sought for instead of sticking on for a sole partnership with the central government.
Let Private business owners with the track record extend this handshake of business in the area of Solar technology, let’s use the renewable energy as a yardstick for infrastructure and social services to the citizenry, private business owners should challenge these redundancy-at all fronts, the idea of investment in Africa has to be spearheaded by the private establishment and not the government.
Africa desperately needs more electricity, with economic projections indicating rapid growth for many of its constituent nations. The African Union forecasts that the continent's collective GDP will multiply six-fold between 2010 and 2040, We are already in 2017 and moving closer to 2018, that is about half of the projected timeframe. To fuel this growth, it estimates that Africa's power-generation capacity will have to increase from 590 terawatt hours to 3,100 over the same period. This is not a time to continue to play bureaucratic administrative system as before.
Ms Motena Thibeli is a Phd Scholar in Wuhan University of Technology & Management Science