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COMESA eyes private sector investment to enhance access to electricity

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The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) members are seeking to attract more private sector investments in order to enhance access to electricity, officials said on Monday.

Kipyego Cheluget, the Assistant Secretary General of the COMESA told an energy forum in Nairobi that on average only 45 percent of the population in the economic bloc is connected to the national electricity grid.

“Energy infrastructure projects require huge resources which governments alone may not afford and therefore the private sector can play a key role in boosting access to electricity,” Cheluget said during the official opening of the third meeting of the technical steering committee of the project which aims to enhance a sustainable regional energy market in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region (EA-SA-IO).

COMESA consists of 21 member states in Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa.

According to COMESA, the Democratic Republic of Congo alone has 100,000 Megawatts of hydro potential while Ethiopia and Zambia have 45,000MW and 6,000MW respectively.

Cheluget added that renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, bio-energy which are yet to be harnessed are found all over Africa.

Cheluget urged the COMESA member states to promote conducive and stable policies and regulatory provisions in order to attract investment into the energy sector.

Source: Xinhuanet

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