12 Jul 2013 11:19

HARARE, July 11 (Bernama) - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) requires US$93 billion investment annually to ensure all its citizens have

access to clean and sustainable energy by 2030, an official said Wednesday.

Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) co-ordination centre manager Dr Lawrence Musaba said that access to electricity in the region is around 40 percent, Zimbabwean news agency New Ziana reported.

"We have concentrated much on urban and peri-urban areas in the provision of electricity, ignoring the rural areas and especially remote parts of the region.

"For SADC member states to provide electricity to all citizens by 2030, US$93 billion is required annually to develop new power projects and maintain the existing ones," Musaba said.

According the United Nations, one in five people around the world are without access to modern energy services with three billion relying on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.

Musaba said in SADC, South Africa had performed better than the other 14 member countries in providing electricity to its people with between 75 and 80 percent having access to electricity.

Other countries in the regional bloc have electricity penetration rates of around 40 percent.

Musaba said that most countries in SADC are experiencing power shortages due to increased demand and have resorted to rationing.