Sustainable access to energy is can help assist in the development of related infrastructure, as well as contributing to industrialisation and economic growth, project advisory company Engenamic CEO Ian Mckechnie said on Friday.
Commenting on a capacity building programme – enableAFRICA – which Engenamic was spearheading with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), he noted that energy also facilitated access to the evolving global digital and knowledge-based economy.
“The continent is vast and characterised by large distances between natural sources of energy and load centres and deep disparity in the nature and characteristics of the energy grids will need to be established and interconnected to realise a sustainable energy future for the continent,” he said.
Mckechnie added that offgrid electrification was also a major component in developing access to electricity across Africa.
He explained that the aim of the enableAFRICA programme was to establish and facilitate a collaborative and inclusive Pan-African network, aimed at building and unlocking broad-based sustainable capacity in infrastructure development, establishment and operation.
“A key objective of the programme is to build this broad-based sustainable capacity in Africa, for Africa, and by Africa,” he said.
He commented that the approach adopted in formulating the initiative and associated vision had been an inclusive one.
“South Africa and the African region are faced by real constraints, including the availability of skilled and financial resources.
“It is, therefore, important that the existing facilities and capabilities across the continent be leveraged and mutually supported, and a holistic approach across the three key attributes is coordinated, integrated, facilitated and supported,” he said.