Monday, 19 December 2011 21:05

Ki-Moon: 600 Million Africans Live Without Modern Energy

BanMoonBy Yemi Akinsuyi

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 19, 2011 (This day) - The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has given the number of Africans living without access to affordable and sustainable modern energy as 600 million.


Ki-Moon, who was represented by the Head, United Nations Women in Nigeria, Dr. Grace Ongile, at the 2011 African Industrialisation Day in Abuja, said this was a major impediment to Africa's social and economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The African Industrialisation Day is a special day set aside by the Conference of African Ministers of Industry under the aegis of the African Union Commission, to focus on country-specific strategies to stimulate Industrial development and draw attention to challenges in the industrial sector.


The theme of the 2011 African Industrialisation Day was, "Tackling Energy Poverty in Africa to Increase Productivity and Economic Development."


Ki-Moon's said: "Ensuring access to reliable efficient and affordable energy is a key element in advancing industrial development, creating decent jobs and increasing productive capacity, especially for small and medium enterprises and rural population. Modern sources of energy will decrease dependence on primary commodities, reduce vulnerability to external shocks and increase economic resilience."


Meanwhile, Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said Federal Government would fast-track the provision of adequate power supply to industrial zones across the country as part of its industrial revolution strategy.


Aganga noted that the need to fast-track provision of electricity to industrial zones had become necessary, given the strategic role the manufacturing sector would play in the economic transformation of Nigeria.


He added that the provision of adequate power supply to industrial zones was aimed at increasing the capacity utilisation of local industries, employment creation and wealth generation in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda.


He said the theme of this year's event, 'Tackling Energy Poverty in Africa to Increase Productivity and Economic Development', is very relevant given the fact that a key element in Industrial development is sustainable energy, which is a prerequisite for growing industrial enterprise and building capacity in trade and other related sectors.


"Discussions in the world today are centred on green energy, green economy and access to sustainable energy. Despite the fact that manufacturing accounts for only about 4.2 per cent of Nigeria's GDP, it contributes about 14 per cent of our non-oil (taxes) revenue. This shows how important manufacturing is to the economic transformation of our country."


Continuing, he said: "Our economy will grow faster, and our hard working businesses will thrive when we finally solve the problems of the power sector. We are, therefore, currently fast-tracking power sector reforms to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country.


"The Ministry of Trade and Investment is already working in collaboration with the Ministry of Power to provide adequate electricity to industrial zones in order to reduce their cost of production, increase their capacity utilization, create jobs and generate wealth in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda."


Aganga said that the ministry had developed an industrial revolution strategy based on the areas where Nigeria had comparative and competitive advantage as part of efforts to develop the nation's industrial sector.


He said: "My ministry has developed an Industrial revolution strategy as encapsulated in our economic transformation agenda. We have identified four key sectors in which we have comparative and competitive advantage as a nation and which have great potential to attract investors.


"The Industrial Development Centres have been reactivated and modernized in strategic areas of the country for potential investors to drive SME programmes. In recognition of the vital role which research, technology and innovation play as major drivers of productivity, we have developed sector specific programmes that will link our research centres with our universities as part of our renewed efforts to increase productivity and boost the capacity utilisation of our local industries." (END)


Генерал забыл заплатить за бифштекс и бутылку вина.

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