Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has stated that the challenge of electricity was adversely affecting the growth of the continent’s economy.
Speaking at the Africa CEO forum in Abidjan, the President of Dangote group also disclosed what has made his conglomerate successful.
“Where I come from, which is Kano in Nigeria, we have over 20 million people and we are sharing 35 megawatts only,” Dangote said.
“So when we started business as a group, we said that we would not go into the national grid. Every single country that we are operating in, we would create, generate our own power and that is why we have been very, very successful.”
In his remark, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said Africa must seek ways to light up the continent.
“If you walk in the dark, you’ll stumble and you will fall. But if you walk in the light, you will constantly see thing ahead of you,” he said.
“The problem is, in Africa, you have today 645 million people without electricity. You have the GDP in which the cost of not having electricity is about four to five percent shaved off.
“We cannot be competitive when it comes to value adding. We cannot industrialise because we have no electricity. The kids cannot go to school because we have no electricity.
“Vaccines can’t be in hospitals because we have no electricity, and business are operating at very high cost, using diesel. In other words, what is the emergency power supply system has become the normal power supply system – no way!
“And as Africa Development Bank, I know that the very blood of Africa’s transmission and life is what we do.”
Nigeria’s electricity generation currently fluctuates around 4,000MW, a meagre capacity for a country of over 170million.