Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe. File Photo: Bongani Shilubane/ African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has urged the prioritisation of energy affordability in order to attract investment.

During his keynote address at the Africa oil and power conference held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre he said it was imperative in order to create jobs.

He said the "wild swings" of crude oil prices have impacted not only consumer countries but producer countries as well.

"We have witnessed wild swings in the prices of crude oil and these impact not only consumer countries but also producer countries as well," he said.

"This scenario prevails despite the fact that this great continent hosts some of the major energy resources such as potential hydro power from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)."

He said Africa also had vast oil and gas resources which could transform the continent and spearhead industrialisation,"if these resources were to be exploited and also used internally to produce the much needed energy to drive our economies".

Radebe said energy poverty in Africa was a very "serious" concern and required a concerted effort to address the problem. The coalition of different energy stakeholders to resolve the challenge, which remained a stumbling block to Africa's development, would be crucial.

"Approximately 1.19 billion people, about 60 percent of the global population lived without electricity in 2014. About 2.7 billion people, 38 percent of the global population are without clean cooking facilities. Numbers and trends differ greatly by region," he said, adding that the vast majority of people without access to electricity and clean cooking facilities are in the sub-Saharan Africa.