Power supply investment in Africa ranks among the lowest in the world and lack of energy costs the continent over $110billion annually.
Executive Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina, who made these known also said the World Trade Organisation (WTO) needs to galvanise the interest and support of various stakeholders to promote equitable global trade relations and energy access in Africa where almost 600 million live without electricity.
Adesina, who spoke on ‘Redirecting the World Trade Organisation’ at the virtual 2021 Horasis Global Meeting said, deploying multilateral engagements would help circumvent the status quo that has made global trade relations somewhat lopsided.
Horasis is one of the foremost annual meetings of the world’s leading decision-makers from business, government, and civil society.
He also said Africa is home to 17 percent of the world’s population but accounts for just 4% of global power supply investment.
He emphasized the need for World Trade Organisation (WTO) needs to galvanize the interest and support of various stakeholders to promote equitable global trade relations and energy access in Africa where almost 600 million live without electricity.
“The WTO must ensure that multilateralism guides its decision making. The countries of the world are not all on the same pedestal, there should be a consideration for the poor countries. The WTO should create a system where countries come together to create a united front to handle the issues the world is facing,” he said.
He stated: “Africa still suffers from the twin challenge of access versus affordability of electricity. We all need each other to solve the global challenges we face as individual countries and the world. A strong commitment is needed to maintain open and free trade; to keep open borders and to help the poorest countries, particularly least developed countries, survive the economic shock created by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He urged the WTO should explore collaborating with the various stakeholders to accelerate the pace of technology needed to make alternative power cheaper and more accessible to the consumers.
He added: “The Environmental Impact Analysis of conventional power sources should be the focal point of conversations with African Presidents as well as key political and business leaders to ensure their support and agree a collective and sustainable solution template”.