‘Africa uses only 10 percent of hydropower potential’

3-day World Hydropower Congress begins in Addis Ababa

Only 10 percent of Africa’s hydropower potential has been tapped, according to an energy expert.

At the opening Tuesday of a three-day World Hydropower Congress in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Liu Zhenya, chairman of the Global Energy Interconnection and Cooperation Organization, said Africa could become a net hydropower exporter to Europe and West Asia.

“Africa’s hydropower stands at 10 percent of the continent’s potential,” he said.

The congress organized by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) brought together 170 hydropower experts, government officials and representatives of international agencies.

Rachel Kyte, CEO of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative, indicated the need for better coordination during project inception and implementation.

“Too many projects languish at early planning or pre-planning stages,” she said.

The host country Ethiopia is building a $4.8 billion hydroelectric dam on the Nile River with an installed capacity of 6,000 megawatts — the largest on the continent.

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