A rising Africa is hungry for electricity. Unreliable supply negatively affects business and represents a major risk for international investors. The South African case of “load shedding” is a case in point. What are Africa’s electricity challenges and what solutions are found in the realms infrastructure asset management?
Financial markets are becoming digitised
Countries are experiencing high sustained growth rates
There is a growing middle class
A burgeoning tech sector
A stabilisation of democraciesAfrica has the youngest and most rapidly growing population globally, with almost 200 million people ages 15 to 24. By 2040, the continent’s population is estimated to represent 40% of the world’s population. While opportunities abound for African countries to harness the advantages of population growth, technological innovation, and the dynamism of a young growing middle class, African countries need to ensure a stable economic environment that enables job creation and promotes business opportunities.
Lack of distribution network maintenance
Overloading the system due to cable theft
According to another commentator, Melusi Maposa, MD of resources at Accenture Management Consulting, the real problem for most of these issues is the inadequate investment in distribution maintenance and refurbishment. The challenge he says is not load-shedding, but infrastructure management: “if the lights went out in the past 12 months, then it was a distribution failure, not load shedding”. Maposa’s conclusion is that responsible authorities, such as the Department of Energy, electricity utility Eskom, and city and town councils, must find ways to fast-track infrastructure rehabilitation and new installation.