Meeting MDGs takes energy
World Bank Africa Vice President Makhtar Diop has highlighted the importance of affordable power in meeting Africa’s MDGs.
Speaking at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings event this week, Diop said: “We will not achieve the MDGs, we will not have growth, we will not have inclusive growth in our continent if we don’t work towards this objective of bringing electricity at an acceptable price, at a price which is consistent with the political economy at the level of development for our countries and therefore have inclusive, sustainable and peaceful growth in Africa.”
He noted: “Without energy, it’s not possible for a health clinic to work in remote areas in Africa. Without energy, it’s not possible for our kids to learn because they will not be able to learn in the evening. Without energy, it’s not possible for the woman, who is walking 10 kilometers a day to fetch water in remote Tanzania or remote Senegal, to be able to reduce the time she spends getting water. Without energy, it's not possible to give signs in the remote area to be able to reduce incidence of some diseases in our country.
So of the things that if you talk about energy, let’s talk about growth, about manufacturing, it’s about the life of the poorest in Africa, the women is in Senegal, in Nairobi, in Cape Town, or in other places, in Kinshasa, who cannot continue running a business because there is no electricity supply or electricity is too expensive in our countries.”
He said ensuring affordable power supplies required a number of things: “Having local solutions increases the level of uncertainty and therefore increases the risk and the cost of doing business in this sector. I think that moving to a regional initiative is not only good in terms of rationalizing your investments, but is good in terms of reducing the uncertainty that we’ve been facing in our countries. Therefore, we decided to move and to support all investment which will have a regional dimension in energy.”
He said the Ministry of Finance of the West African Monetary Union would look to a regional PPP framework for power development.