Nov 05, 2012
Africa urged to invest in engineering skills to meet energy demandsBack
Engineering|Johannesburg|Africa|Alstom|Education|Resources|Sustainable|Water|Africa|Electricity|Energy|Energy Demands|Energy Needs|Railways Solutions|Solutions|Lawrence Jones|Water
© Reuse this
African countries needed more human capacity in the form of engineers, hydrologists and geologists, as well as mechanical, electrical and material scientists.
“There is a whole range of engineering professions that we would need to cover to meet energy needs on the continent,” he said at a French Energy Forum event in Johannesburg.
Jones pointed out that almost 580-million people, or around 58% of the continent’s population, were still without access to electricity in residential areas. “This implies massive needs for infrastructural development, requiring appropriate standards and skills development.”
With more than 50% of Africa’s population under the age of 25, Jones stressed the importance of investing in proper education.
“This needs vision and leadership, to realise that investing in these young people is investing in the future. It’s a prioritisation issue.
“What is the education budget of every African government today? If education is your future, more than anything else, if that budget makes up only 5% of your total budget, there is a misalignment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jones said that there needed to be a balance between increasing access to energy and managing resources in a sustainable way, while, at the same time, reducing climate change impacts.
“This could be achieved through developing integrated climate change mitigation strategies in energy policies and regulatory frameworks, while also developing an integrated climate change adaptation strategy,” he said.
Jones pointed out that climate change was the most important international developmental challenge of the twenty-first century, and while African countries contributed the least to this phenomenon, they were the most vulnerable.
Another challenge highlighted was the scarcity of water on the continent. “Currently, water constraint is definitely an issue and will become even more of an issue as the population grows. I am most worried about population growth that is developing faster than other sectors.”
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.