Africa is aiming to implement 15 cross-border energy projects worth over US$40 billion by the year 2020 in an effort to enhance cross-border energy market development on the continent.
Leaders on the continent have approved a pipeline of 15 priority energy projects which they say needs to be implemented between 2012 and 2020 to lay the basis for improved energy access and further economic growth.
The project portfolio, which has been identified and selected partly on the basis of the projects’ ability to enhance cross-border energy-market development, embraces nine hydroelectricity generation developments, four transmission corridors and two pipelines, one for oil and the other for gas.
The projects formed part of the larger programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) portfolio, which has been assembled under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) banner while the other PIDA projects cover the transport, water, and information communication technology infrastructure segments.
NEPAD said that the energy projects had been prioritized in line with an African Union (AU) aspiration to raise energy access across the continent to better than 60 percent by 2040.
NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) said the first 15 PIDA projects had been selected from a far larger list of potential energy developments on the basis of objective criteria that embraced issues such as improving energy access, bolstering energy security and supporting regional integration.
They would therefore, be additional to a range of other national energy initiatives and implementation responsibility would rest with participating countries.
The AU Commission, the NPCA and the African Development Bank (AfDB) would facilitate fundraising efforts and would also support project implementation and monitoring.
Additional projects would be included as the rolling five-year investment framework was implemented and evolved, with the initial transmission corridors seen as playing a critical role in stimulating additional power generation projects over the medium term (2021 to 2030) and the long term (2031 to 2040) as this infrastructure would enable countries to evacuate power to areas of demand.
The nine hydroelectric projects include the Batoka Gorge project on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, Great Millennium Renaissance dam, in Ethiopia, Mphanda-Nkuwa project in Mozambique, Inga hydro projects in the DR Congo, hydropower component of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II, Sambangalou project on Gambia river, Kaleta II in Guinea, Ruzizi III project, in Rwanda and Rusumo Falls development which is being pursued by Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.