Friday, November 24, 2017

Least developed countries need Sh89trn for power security

By John Namkwahe and Mosenda Jacob @johnteck3

Dar es Salaam.  The Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which include Tanzania, require a total of $40 billion (equivalent to Sh89 trillion) per year to achieve sustainable access to power to all, a new report reveals.

The LDCs report-2017 titled “Transformational Energy Access”, which has been launched today, November 24 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), also indicates that 82 per cent of people in rural areas have no access to electricity.

Addressing delegates during the launch of the report, Mr Giovanni Valensisi from the UNCTAD called upon the governments to strengthen electricity systems by scaling up and upgrading the grid to ensure sustainable access to electricity.

Mr Valensisi also revealed that the achievement to have universal access to electricity should be backed up by effective utilisation of the potential energy resources.

He further commented that the governments were yet to exploit the resources adequately to generate power.

 "Access to modern energy plays a major role in economic structural transformation. More investment is required to achieve sustainable power supply," he said.

For his part, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Systems in Tanzania, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez stated that "It is high time for governments in the LDCs to make serious efforts in a bid to achieve transformational energy access by 2030."

The LDCs reports, which are prepared annually by the UNCTAD, provides a comprehensive source of socio-economic analysis and data on the world's most impoverished countries.

The report looks at how the world's 47 least developed nations, including Tanzania, can expand access to adequate, reliable and affordable sources of modern energy to escape the poverty trap.