BWSC Hosted Boardroom: How to Accelerate Access to Reliable Energy, Creating Long-Term Local Content and Achieving Economic Growth

BWSC Hosted Boardroom: How to Accelerate Access to Reliable Energy, Creating Long-Term Local Content and Achieving Economic Growth image
Over the past 10 years, around 400 million people in Africa have been given access to energy, but with approximately 550 million still not enjoying that necessity, there is much work to be done. 
It’s predicted that the mount of investment required to reach a target of universal access by 2040 equates to around $120 billion every year; four times the historic amount generated and channelled towards this challenge.

It’s clear therefore that traditional models alone won’t be enough to achieve the feat, and heightened collaboration is required – both between public and private bodies, and between international investors and local communities and operators.

The aim, through this collaboration, is to create a virtuous cycle of investment, projects, capacity building and innovation.

More open legislation and collaboration would likely yield longer-term strategies among potential incoming investors, which would encourage more projects and therefore more jobs for local artisans. The subsequent capacity building and innovative capabilities, would then encourage even more investment into each respective country.

Patrick Kouamé, Investment Director at African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) affirmed: “Having people work locally, builds capability and capacity for the next project. Countries imposing minimal local rules content is important and we see that going up between 25-40% in places like Senegal. This local focus requires investors to make more effort to work with local subcontractors and build local teams.”

The results and benefits would be both direct – jobs, upskilling, supply chain – and indirect – increased energy for business and domestic use – to create a snowball effect of accelerated progress.