African heads approve 15 energy projects

power  TheAlieness GiselaGiardinoAfrican heads of state have endorsed 15 energy projects worth US$40.5bn that will be implemented before the end of the decade in a bid to increase energy access across the continent

The projects, which form part of the larger Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida) portfolio, will include nine hydroelectricity generation developments, four transmission corridors and two pipelines - one each for oil and gas.

Nepad Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) energy division head Mosad Elmissiry said the energy projects had been prioritised in line with an African Union aspiration to raise energy access across the continent by 2040.

Elmissiry added that the 15 Pida projects had been selected from a list of potential energy developments and on the basis of criteria that embraced issues such as improving energy access, bolstering energy security and supporting regional integration.

They would, therefore, be additional to a range of other national energy initiatives and implementation responsibility would rest with participating countries, he remarked.  

Elmissiry added that the hydroelectricity projects have been prioritised, owing to the fact that it was a low-carbon energy source that was abundant and largely untapped.

The African Union Commission, the NPCA and the African Development Bank are set to facilitate fundraising efforts for the projects and also support the implementation and monitoring phases.

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