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General News of Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Source: B&FT

Africans pay too much for power – AfDB

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

The cost of power in Africa is on the high side, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has bemoaned.

Although the continent is home to the least reliable access to power as compared to the rest of the world, the cost of power in Africa is the highest, he maintained.

He said the entire continent generates just about the same amount of power as Spain or Belgium, although Africa is home to close to a billion people.

Dr. Adesina’s remarks comes on the heels of discussions being spearheaded by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to increase the electricity tariff by at least 100 percent in coming weeks.

Speaking in an interview with the B&FT in Accra, the AfDB President said: “If you take a look at the average amount Africans pay as cost for electricity, it is US$1 per kilowatt hour (kw/h). Comparative figures for Europe is 15 cents per kw/h, United States is 10 cents per kw/h; so not only are we producing less energy, but we are paying extremely high for whatever energy we consume.”

Explaining Africa’s energy poverty, Dr. Adesina said on average, Africans consume 300 kw/h while the global average stood about 7,000 kw/h.

The relative low power per capita, he said, is responsible for the continent’s inability to industrialise. This, he said, explains why small-and-medium-scale enterprises are struggling.

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