Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) believes that a reliable and cleaner supply of energy is critical for Angola’s drive towards economic diversification and sustainable development.
On her first official visit to Angola since taking up office as head of ECA, Songwe suggested to both President João Lourenço and the Minister of Energy and Water Resources João Baptista Borges, that all must be done to further diversify Angola’s energy mix, by increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy production of the country.
Energy generation in Angola stands at about 3,334 MW, over half of that comes from diesel powered plants. The fuel is imported, despite Angola being the second largest producer of oil in Africa, after Nigeria.
The parties agreed on the urgency to increase the share of renewable energy, especially solar, and gas-powered plants in Angola’s overall energy mix. This could be achieved through off-grid and mini-grid solutions involving solar boxes, especially with regards to satisfying the demands of non-industrial consumers across some 164 municipalities currently pegged to diesel-fired power solutions.
Ms. Songwe said crowding-in the private sector into such new energy generation and distribution mix would be a place to start with.
“Energy is one of the most demanding sectors in terms of financing, for developing economies such as Angola,” she told media reporters after her audience with the Angolan president.
“We need to work with the Angolan government on proposing legislation that will attract private investment to this sector and reduce its costs in the country,” she added. This includes a review of legislation on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).