In a damp office at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa University, doctoral student Hailu Geremew fantasizes about working on the nuclear reactor his country is now pondering building. “Oh that is my dream, my dream, my dream,” said the nuclear physicist, 32, wearing rectangular glasses and a cardigan.
Geremew is part of a new generation of African scientists whose prospects are expanding as their governments team up with foreign powers on a potential fast-track to electrification. For now, South Africa is the only country on the continent operating a nuclear power plant.But in recent years, at least seven other sub-Saharan African states have signed agreements to deploy nuclear power with backing from Russia, according to public announcements and the World Nuclear Association (WNA), an industry body.
Investment firm Blackstone Group LP is scaling back its bet on Africa, almost five years after it made a commitment to spend billions of dollars alongside the continent’s richest man.
The world’s largest alternative-investment manager is in the process of selling its Africa subsidiary Black Rhino Group back to management, according to a person familiar with the deal, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The unit was created in January 2012 to focus on the development and acquisitions of energy and infrastructure projects across Africa.
The African Development Bank is the Executing Agency for the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA); the programme designed as successor to the NEPAD Medium to Long Term Strategic Framework (MLTSF), to develop a vision and strategic framework for the development of regional and continental infrastructure (Energy, Transport, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Trans-boundary Water Resources). The PIDA initiative is being led by the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Secretariat and the Bank. The Bank’s role as Executing Agency covers the responsibility for contractual, financial, technical and administrative management of the programme including responsibility for procurement procedures, in conformity with its existing regulations, budget management and disbursements.
The overall goal of PIDA is to promote socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Africa through improved access to integrated regional and continental infrastructure networks and services. The PIDA Sector Studies will assist in developing a vision on Africa’s infrastructure based on strategic objectives and sector polices; prioritized regional and continental infrastructure investment programs (Energy, Transport, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Trans-boundary Water Resources) over the short, medium, and long term, up to the year 2030. In addition, the Studies will recommend the required institutional arrangements, legal frameworks, and the financing mechanisms for the implementation and monitoring of the programs.
Lou Kraft is the CEO of SolSuntech Inc. – a solar panel manufacturing company that recently introduced 3D solar panels producing an ultra-high 33% efficiency. Currently, no other solar panel on the market is capable of achieving such levels of performance. Mr. Kraft’s next step is to make this innovative technology available to African and global markets.
With multiple factors, two of the more widespread being the continual declining cost of solar manufacturing and various legislations aimed at reducing carbon footprint, the renewable energy market continues to thrive on a global scale. SolSuntech’s primary target markets are the fast growing cities and those overpopulated within Africa, Asia, the United States and Europe, and other developed and emerging markets where installation space is constrained.