Africa's needs energy priorities

Feb 26, 1997 01:00 AM

Energy experts met in Senegal under the aegis of the World Energy Council (WEC) to map out Africa's priorities up to the year 2020 in the sector, a key component of any development plans.
"The aim is to voluntarily engage our countries in necessary reforms of the energy sector to ensure long term competitiveness of our economies and to improve the living standards of our people," Senegalese Prime Minister Habib Thiam told. Delegates to the two-day forum said Africa had 12 % of the world's population but accounted for as little as 3 % of world energy consumption. They say the continent, which has oil and gas and in which countries such as Zaire and Guinea have huge hydroelectric potential, probably had over 7 % of world energy reserves.
Thierry Villaron, WEC Regional Director, told that Africa needed to develop the energy sector in rural areas. Sub-Saharan Africa relies on wood, crop waste and animal dung for nearly 50 % of its primary energy needs. Consumption of wood, often in the form ofcharcoal, undermines efforts to save the dwindling rainforest in parts of Africa.

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