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World Bank vice-president for Africa Makhtar Diop has called on leaders to solve the energy crisis in the continent

World Bank Africa VP calls for energy actionWorld Bank’s Makhtar Diop said that African countries have to solve the energy crisis to foster growth. (Image source: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr)

Speaking at the International Conference on the Emergence of Africa in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Diop said that foreign investors were being put off by high energy prices that had pushed up the cost of doing business on the continent.

“All emerging countries have to solve the energy crisis,” Diop told delegates. “We have to be on par with other nations, ensuring we produce enough energy for Africa at affordable rates.”

He has not been the first to call for such action, with business leaders from the South African mining sector in February 2015 warning of the potential consequences of failing to tackle the issue.

The World Bank estimates that 650mn of the 1.2bn people in the world without access to grid electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa, while only one to three gigawatts of the additional six to seven gigagwatts needed to achieve universal access by 2030 are actually being installed.

The conference in Abidjan was intended as a platform for the discussion and exchange of ideas on how to improve policies and strategies to help African nations become emerging markets.

Attendees included heads of states, BRICS (group of emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), diplomats and representatives of the private sector, among others.