The lack of vital electricity infrastructure continued to bedevil Africa’s drive towards developing integrated regional markets, while energy usage in sub-Saharan Africa had increased by 45% in the past 15 years, said Eskom board member Zethembe Khoza at African Utility Week in Cape Town on 12 May. The International Energy Agency’s Africa Energy Outlook currently estimated that Africa's energy sector needed an additional $450 billion investment to reduce power outages by half and achieve universal electricity access in urban areas.
"There are cross-border opportunities in terms of gas and renewables and additional renewable independent power producer opportunities in South Africa that we are exploring,” said Khoza, reading a speech on behalf of Eskom’s acting CEO Brian Molefe. Khoza advised that Eskom was particularly excited about the potential benefits of the 40 000 MW Grand Inga Hydro Power Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Power Africa coordinator Anthony Herscowitz said the President Barack Obama-driven initiative, aimed at linking investors and entrepreneurs to business opportunities in Africa in the power sector, had made valuable inroads in several countries. Power Africa, which worked with governments and more than 100 private-sector partners, was also exploring projects in Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda and Nigeria, among other countries.