CAPE TOWN - Zambian former president Rupiah Banda on Wednesday, called on African countries to work together to ensure a consistent source supply to all Africans across the continent.
"Given the wealth of resources available in Africa, it is unacceptable for us to continue living with such a drastically electricity strategies, as we have now," he said speaking at the oil and power conference held at the Cape Town International Convention centre.
He told delegates that his country was planning to achieve a universal electricity access for all Zambians by 2030, from a diverse range of sources.
"I would like to call on our industry partners to work together to put the policies in place to enable large-scale power projects to allocate natural gas reserves for domestic uses, to fully develop the natural resources available including renewable resources and continue collaborating through regional power pulls to ensure a consistent source supply for everyone on the continent, " he said.
According to Banda, independent oil companies have played an important role in the exploration and development of Africa’s resource, especially in the frontier markets
In Zambia and indeed, throughout Africa, Independent oil companies are strong leaders in the sector.
“This importance of these exploration efforts cannot be overstated. Not only is the economic development is at stake, but we know that the energy necessary to propel the next generation of African prosperity is under the ground,” he said.
“Ee must continue telling the African story to the world and selling the dream of discovering oil and gas to the international financial community, making it clear that the rewards of here in Africa far outwear risks.”
He said, however, as the continent works to attract the attention of international investors, African countries needed to ensure the sustainable development of Africa’s domestic capacity.
Banda said that Zambia’s oil and gas sector was a new area for which the country did not have much experience as the country, many African countries faced the same challenge “but we must rise to the task of creating an enabling fiscal regime that will grow local banking and financial institutions”.
“We can learn from African brothers, such as Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, both of whom have created strong local content policies to build up local capacity. Just this year, for example, Equatorial Guinea expelled an international company from operating in the country for failing to adhere to local content regulation, showing the importance of that policy."
- African News Agency (ANA)