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Lighting up Africa: Of DRC's potential to power up half the continent

Lighting up Africa: Of DRC's potential to power up half the continent

The Morning Call

In this segment, Jean-David Mihamle talks about DRC’s potential to power Africa out of darkness, by boosting the continents electricity generation.

DRC’s Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala last week chaired a meeting on the country’s electricity sector. Five strategic action points were identified in line with adjusting the country’s national electricity sector development policy:

  • The finalization of the reform of the legal and institutional framework.
  • The development of electricity generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.
  • Mobilization of human and financial resources.
  • Increased involvement of the private sector.
  • Training and capacity building..

DRC is said to have an extraordinary potential of churning out 100,000 megawatts, made possible by the River Congo which is the biggest river in Africa by discharge volume with a flow of 41,600 m3/second. According to the experts, it is capable of producing 46,000 MW, energy that can light up at least half of the continent.

But all this ambition would be affected by issues like:

  • Use of obsolete technology.
  • Inadequate infrastructure.
  • Lack of funding in the sector.

The mining industry, which is the nuts and bolts of the Congolese economy, alone, has a deficit of between 750 and 800 megawatts.

A lot of money would be needed to realize these power dream. Experts estimate $ 100 billion. No doubt that this is not a hard target. As Jean-David opines that money can easily be availed if there is a clear vision that highlights a clear legal and institutional framework
, which integrates the pan-African private sector, promises profitability and more importantly a vision that is able to attract other African countries.

South Africa and Nigeria have shown interest in buying electricity from the DRC.

This means that instead of always waiting for funding on this and that like manna falling from the skies, multilateral institutions with a voluntarist, bold and visionary initiative, can help the DRC spearhead electrification in the continent.

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The Morning Call

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The Morning Call

The Morning Call is about you. We want to share your opinions on our programme. If you want to contribute to The Morning Call, here are the best ways to get in touch : For more details on how to contribute, click here.