The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, has emphasized the importance of hydro-energy to Africa’s sustainable development.
The President made the remark during his visit to Bujagali, Jinja, some 87 kilometers north-east of Kampala, Uganda, according to a statement from the Bank on Monday October 8th.
The project, a public-private partnership, has a capacity of 250-MW, which makes it one of Africa’s largest hydropower projects.
It also includes construction of 100 km transmission lines. The total cost of the project is estimated at US$ 735.5 million. The Bank Group is contributing US$ 139 million for the dam and the transmission lines.
The statement said Kaberuka also underscored the importance of the project for Uganda and the East African region.
Kaberuka noted that energy was critical to boost Africa’s economic growth, saying “this is the time for Africa to harness its huge hydro-energy potential”, especially as hydro-energy is cheaper and cleaner.
With seven major rivers (Nile, Niger, Congo, Senegal, Orange, Limpopo and Zambezi) Africa, which hold about 10% of the world hydro-energy potential and, with very low energy per capita consumption level, has so far exploited a small part of its capability.
Kaberuka highlighted that climate change, the quest for cleaner energy and Africa’s need for constant power supply clearly underscored the need to boost investment in the hydropower sector while taking into account broader economic and social concerns.
The Bank Group says it is strongly committed to assist member countries in their effort to further develop their energy potentials.