As Africa Seeks Energy Security, World Hydropower Congress Opens in Addis Ababa

Africa accounts for about 12% of the World’s technically feasible hydropower potential, likely to generate over 1,800 Terra Watts-hours of electricity. Currently, less than 10% of the hydropower potential in Africa is exploited making hydropower an ample opportunity for Africa to develop both large and small-scale energy infrastructure at the regional, national and local levels

Hydropower provides significant opportunities for Africa, particularly with the abundance of the resource on the continent and further, the maturity of the technology which indicates hydropower’s crucial role in expanding electricity access to the African citizenry.

On this note the 6th World Hydropower Congress (WHC) kicked-off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with Acting Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok, calling on the continent to come up with strong and coherent policies to promote faster and more inclusive growth through the optimal use of hydropower and other sources of renewable energy.

Mr. Hamdok said with more than 600 million people in Africa living without access to electricity and households continuing to rely on traditional biomass for cooking, it was pertinent for Africa to tap into its vast renewable energy sources.

The congress seeks to build on a previous meeting held in 2015 in Beijing by bringing together leaders and experts to examine how initiatives of governments, businesses, finance, civil society and academia can advance sustainable development.

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