Monday, September 21, 2020

SADC looks overseas to fill up electricity supply gap

Sothern African Development Community (SADC) member Countries have decided to look abroad for possible support in a bid to deal with the prevailing power shortfalls to avert the negative impact it has on the regional economies.

This follows a two day SADC Energy Investment Conference held in Frankfurt, Germany that ended Friday.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Dr Jeff Ramsay, who is also head of the Botswana Government Communications and Information Services (BGCIS) said the event was initiated in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat and the Southern African Initiative of German Business over the last eighteen months.

This also a follow up to the visit to the SADC Secretariat by the German President, Horst Kohler, who was hosted by the SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao, in May, 2006, at which SADC made a case for investment by German Business.

“It was intended through the conference to afford SADC an opportunity to promote investment in the power sector as well as other renewable sources of energy within SADC Region through direct engagement with German investors under the umbrella of the German Chamber of Commerce,” stated Ramsay, adding that his office acted as the Communication focal point for the regional body.

Some of the issues covered at the meeting included; creating awareness within the German business community on the prevailing power shortfalls within the SADC region and the investment opportunities obtaining as a result, creating an opportunity for the SADC region to present projects to the German business community and ensuing engagement between investors and SADC member states and utilities.

The idea of financing power sector projects in the region and creating opportunities and avenues for negotiations on investment in SADC power sector projects with German investors, formed part of the intentions of the for forum.

The Conference was to be addressed by the German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs, Southern African Initiative of German Business (SAFRI), and the Chair of the SADC Group of Ambassadors in Germany as well as the Executive Secretary of SADC Tomaz Salomao.

Key speakers at the occasion included representatives of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the SADC Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA) the African
Development Bank, and Development Bank of Southern Africa, as well as European Investment
Bank.

The conference which also brought under one roof, national power utilities, regulators and experts in renewable energy from SADC countries, was sponsored by Kreditanstalt f├╝r Wiederaufbau (KFW) (Gold Sponsor), Southern Africa Initiative of German Business (Silver Sponsor) SADC Secretariat, Emirates Airlines, BDI (the Voice of German Industry), DIHK and Afrika Verein.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper