Sunday, October 14, 2007

African Development Bank Group President urges investment in hydropower to grow African economies.

SOURCE: afrol News—“Hydo-energy sustains Africa’s economic growth”

At a recent event in Uganda inaugurating a public-private partnership to build a 250-megawatt hydroelectric facility, African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President Kaberuka urged African nations to tap their hydro-energy potential.

This most recent hydropower project, set to be located near Uganda's capital city Kampala, will be one of Africa’s largest such projects to date. The cost is expected to run US $735.5 million, with AfDB contributing US $139 million. Uganda is one of the top three recipients of AfDB funds.

Kaberuka emphasized that while Africa is estimated to hold 10% of the world’s hydroelectric capability and is “blessed” with a number of major rivers such as the Nile and the Congo, this resource has been largely undeveloped to date. He asserted that if this energy potential were tapped, it could alleviate the electricity shortages that currently plague African nations. He also highlighted the importance of access to electricity for continued economic growth in Africa, noting that secure energy sources would spark investor interest in the continent.


The World Bank has been criticized in the past for supporting and funding poorly planned and environmentally harmful hydropower projects in developing nations.

Do you think regional development banks like the AfDB are more "in tune" with local issues than the World Bank?

Are regional development banks better situated than the World Bank to ensure that their financial support go to carefully considered projects that benefit communities as a whole?

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