Analysts: Africa's lack of energy infrastructure holding it back economically

Participants at the recent 2016 African Energy Indaba Forum and Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, said the continent will never reach its full potential if its nations' governments do not make significant investments in energy infrastructure.

Victor Polikarpov, ROSATOM's regional vice president, was especially vehement about this during the conference and said a lack of electricity is detrimental to any economy. Polikarpov also said nuclear power must not be viewed as wasteful or expensive, but as an investment in the long-term future of the continent.

“To combat the current energy challenge faced by South Africa and the rest of the continent, Africa needs affordable and clean baseload power such as nuclear,” Polikarpov said.

Others echoed this sentiment and said this energy-infrastructure deficit must be addressed before the continent can truly thrive economically.

“Africa’s potential is constrained by a lack of infrastructure, particularly energy infrastructure,” Brian Stathem, head of the South African National Energy Association (SANEA), said. “Energy is the driver for social and economic development, enabling education, health care, economic and commercial enterprise, and social well being.”

A recent World Bank report called for structural reforms needed for domestic growth and faster economic diversification in Africa.

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Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation

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