BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW
ADDIS ABABA—The Africa Union (AU) announced that over half- a -billion of Africans still lack access to electricity and some other 900 millions are without clean cooking.
Briefing journalists on COVID-19 mitigation measures taken to recover and turn the infrastructure and energy sector to previous position, Commissioner for Infrastructure
and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid (PhD) stated that the AU together with stakeholders has been toiling to abate energy deficit via implementing the Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) initiative.
She indicated that AfSEM is a timely response to bridge the electricity gap in Africa by optimizing the continent’s abundant renewable energy sources towards achieving 100 percent access to electricity in the continent by 2030 in line with the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 7.
Indicating that even if the African continent is blessed both in renewable and non renewable energy sources; energy deficit has become a bottleneck for Africans to come out of poverty. Thus, the commission is striving to implement the initiative in order to fulfill the ambition of urbanization promoting renewable energy programes of the AU.
The Commissioner emphasized the need to put in place robust electricity policy reforms to attract substantial investments to realize the full potential of AfSEM.
“AfSEM holds a bright future for all Africans. As the implementation of the AfSEM starts today, a challenging work lies ahead of us to realize its aspirations and deliver our promises to the African people. Thus, it needs to be supported strategically, technically, and financially. Ever since the conception of this great initiative, the prospects have been promising and the potential is enormous.”
The February 3/2022