By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra, Ghana- Another African government Angola, is committed to invest in the energy sector to diversify economy to create opportunities for investors in the power sector. The government expects to implement a $400 million two-phase project in the clean energy segment, funded by the World Bank and the French Development Agency notwithstanding the ongoing crisis in the oil sector globally that has led to significant drops in government revenue, the Angolan government has said it remains ever more committed to the diversification of the country’s economy away from oil revenue dependence.
The government’s push to increase production nationally and hence reduce imports, especially food imports, consists of a number of initiatives that include major investments in power infrastructure.
The development of the power industry, with the aim of providing cheap, reliable and affordable energy for both industry and the population is a key pre-requisite for the development of Angola’s productive sector.
According to Joao Baptista Borges, Angola’s Minister of Energy and Water, the government is prepared to invest around USD 400 million over the next two years in solar energy projects in the country as part of a strategy to increase clean energy generation, and bring electricity to the entire country.
The project aims at improving the distribution of electricity in four key provinces.
The Project also expects to reform the structure of public companies in the sector with the aim of increasing access to affordable Energy for Angola’s underserved populations.
“We see many projects in the pipeline in Angola, in addition to those that are already ongoing. This is a testament that the government is serious about boosting industrialization with the help of affordable energy. I believe these investments will pay off in the coming years and for generations to come,” said Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President of the African Energy Chamber.
According to him, Angola even has the potential of becoming a future exporter of energy into the region.
The existence of all major International Oil Companies (IOCs) is an added advantage to Angola as these companies seek to increase their non-carbon footprint by investing in clean energy projects.
While Eni seems to be leading the way in Angola with its solar initiatives, others are set to follow.
French oil company Total for instance has initiated negotiations with the Angolan government, and an agreement is anticipated on other clean energy generation projects soon.
The minister also revealed that the country is already working with Africa50, a pan-African infrastructure investment platform created to promote infrastructure investments across Africa.
Business Opportunities in the power sector are expected to increase given that 50% of the Angolan population still does not have reliable access to electricity.
In order to achieve this goal, the minister notably stressed that the government will open up the sector to competition from the private sector, both national and international.
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent
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