Africa is Failing to Exploit its Hydropower Potential

WINDHOEK, Namibia, Sept. 23 (UPI) — Participants at the 21st African Hydro Symposium in Windhoek, Namibia, were told that Africa is failing to exploit its hydro-power potential.

PANA news agency reported Wednesday that Tanzania Electric Supply Company senior manager Lewanga Tesha, during an interview, stated that most, if not all, African countries had been unable to exploit hydro-power potentials, resulting in only 10 percent of Africa’s hydroelectric potential being utilized.

Tesha said: “We have not been able to exploit that potential (hydro). Developing hydro power projects is capital intensive and African governments have not been able to raise that capital and in the end we are left behind,” before adding that African governments should take the initiative in developing their own projects rather than waiting for donor financing.

The continent’s untapped potential is massive — energy analysts say that the southern African region, if properly developed, could generate around 330,000 megawatts from its hydro reserves.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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