HON SIMAI MOHAMMED SAID
A PARLIAMENTARIAN AGENDA FOR ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA THROUGH ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY IN AFRICA BY 2030
Like other African countries in Africa, people of Tanganyika and Zanzibar opposed and fought against colonial invaders from the very beginning, this included the formation of African Associations in both Tanganyika and Zanzibar. It is within this highlight, the United Republic of Tanzania was formed on 26 April 1964 as a result of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. In this regard, Tanzania became a member of CPA family as the Main Branch and Zanzibar stands as the Sub – Branch within it.
Back to the main Topic of, A Parliamentary Agenda for Economic Transformation in Africa through access to affordable and clean energy as by 2030; it cannot be denied that, Energy and economic development are inseparable. Without access to affordable energy, long-term development cannot take place. Energy is therefore considered as an essential ingredient in economic growth and social development in Africa.
The growth of energy demand is often driven by several factors: population growth,economic growth, urbanisation, rural electrification/energisation programmes, increasing penetration of energy-intensive appliances, and industrialisation. Accordingly, Energy is consumed by all sectors of the economy and therefore growth in the economies of African countries leads to a concomitant rise in the consumption of energy. On the other hand, the Region is experiencing significant growth in energy demand and energy supply which appears to have stagnated or dwindled.
But again, Africa is well endowed with renewable and non-renewable energy resources that far exceed its energy demand requirements for the next century. But paradoxically, most African countries are characterized by energy poverty and poorenergy access, a reflection of their low income and general state of economic underdevelopment.
According to Kats (1989), patterns of energy use in developing countries where African nations are part of are wasteful – the result of poor policies and planning and the self- serving development assistance offered by industrialized West. As a consequence, developed nations almost universally have failed to share in the larger gains in energy efficiency enjoyed by industrialized countries. Developing Nations which can at least afford it, are now stuck with the most wasteful, expensive and environmentally destructive technologies for both the production and the use of energy.
2. ACCESS TO CLEAN ENERGY
Renewable energy holds considerable potential for advancing human development. Energy from renewable sources – water, wind, the sun and biomass, among others – can facilitate access to clean and safe energy for millions of people. It can boost social and economic development while contributing to addressing environmental challenges, and plays a crucial role in successfully tackling climate change.
With the right support, universal access to sustainable energy will drive inclusive development. The UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative was established in recognition of the critical importance of energy for development. It sets three goals to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Since SE4ALL was launched, over eighty developing countries have officially signed up to the initiative.
3. AFRICAN NATIONS AND THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY
It is argued that, because African nations use relatively little energy, there is little point in trying to cut down energy waste. In fact, the third world has not shared in the efficiency gains enjoyed by industrialized countries they are more wasteful of energy and therefore have more potential to cut waste.
The process of development and the creation of wealth through expansion of economic activities and services are successfully achieved when resources are used efficiently. However, it is still argued that, economic growth must be accompanied by increase energy usage.
Therefore, in every African country where energy use is wasteful, continued high levels of investment in energy production without adequate investment in improving efficiency of energy usage will slow rather than enhance development (Kats, 1989).
If African nation’s are to avoid worsening power shortages, continuing capital drain from non- energy sectors and decline economic performance, they must embrace energy efficiency. Efficient production and use of energy are a prerequisite to achieving sustainable development.
4. EXPERIENCE FROM TANZANIA
Tanzania is gifted with diverse energy sources most of which are untapped, these include biomass, hydro, uranium, natural gas, coal, geothermal, solar and wind. The primary energy supply includes biomass (90%); petroleum products (8%); electricity (1.5%), and the remaining (0.5%) is contributed by coal and other renewable energy sources.
More than 80% of energy delivered from biomass is consumed in rural areas; heavy dependence on biomass as the main energy source contributes to deforestation, while the importation of oil costs about 25% to 35% of the nation’s foreign currency earnings. To-date only about 18.4% of the country's population has gained access to electricity. Extending the National Grid to many parts of the country including rural areas is not financially and economically feasible.
4.1 Institutional Set-up and Actors in the Energy Sector
(a) The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM)
The Government through MEM formulates energy policy. The Electricity Act focuses on restructuring the electricity supply industry - attracting private sector and other participation thus bringing the end of TANESCO monopoly. At present the electricity sector’s act provides separate licenses for generation, transmission and distribution
(b) Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA)
Is responsible for technical and economic regulation of the electricity, petroleum, natural gas and water.
(c) Rural Energy Agency (REA)
Is responsible for boosting modern energy services in rural
4.2 Improving Policies and Management in the Energy Sector
Recognizing the importance of energy in the development process, Tanzania’s Energy Policy of 1992 has been reviewed and culminated into the National Energy Policy of 2003. The policy among others, calls for ensuring availability of reliable and affordable energy supplies and their use in a rational and sustainable manner in order to support national development goals.
It further calls for establishment of an efficient energy production, procurement, transportation, distribution and end-use systems in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner, this includes the need to put in place an appropriate institutional arrangement.
In order to operationalise the Policy, a Rural Energy Agency (REA) and Rural Energy Fund (REF) are being established. To this end, a Rural Energy Act of 2005 was passed; arrangement to physically establish the REA and REF are at advanced stage. Environmentally sound energy technologies are key candidates for promotion under REA and REF
4.3 Improving access to energy for the underserved
In addressing issues of energy access to the underserved and in line with other national policies, Tanzania:
(a) Establishment of the REF to provide capital subsidy to buy down investment cost so as to enhance affordability for modern energy services including rural electrification;
(b) Liberalization of the petroleum industry to encourage fair competition;
(c) Electricity sub-sector has been undergoing reforms to allow more private sector participation in delivering modern energy services to customers. The power generation side allows the participation of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and so far about 290MW capacity is being generated by IPPs. Currently the vertically integrated state owned Power utility is being ring-fenced into three operational entities namely; generation, transmission and distribution;
(d) Commitment in promoting renewable energy technologies so as to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
(e) Replacement of heavy FUEL OIL with NATURAL GAS at one of the three cement processing factories. Natural gas is also being used in some parts of Dar es salaam based brewery, textile, glass and steel processing factories.
4.4 Promoting Renewable Sources of Energy
At present the following renewable sources of energy are being promoted or assessed:
▪ Hydropower (both small and large-scale), modern biomass (co-generation, improved stoves, improved charcoal production, thermal-gasification, briquetting, small scale liquid and gaseous biofuel production, etc.), solar (thermal and electricity), wind for mechanical and electrical power;
▪ Enhancement of tree planting campaigns (e.g. Through the National Tree planting day) as a way to sensitize people to plant trees;
▪ Application of improved forest management practices, including community forest management; and
▪ Wind Energy for small hydro and geothermal resource assessment.
5. NEED FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATION
There is an urgent need to integrate energy policies into broader development strategies in African countries, while at the same time encouraging regional integration. The West, South, East, Central African and Nile Basin power-pool schemes are ready examples. For instance, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) is planned as a joint power-pooling mechanism – of the West African countries to help integrate the various national power systems into a unified electricity market.
It therefore argued that, the best solution in the long run – to energy poverty – would be for nations to cooperate on regional power solutions by building few large plants, which could supply power more cheaply and efficiently, than dozens of smaller ones.
The East African Power Pool Project (EAPP) was expected to come on stream by 2011. When operational, the six East African states of Kenya Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan will have a power sharing pool to ease shortages. This strategy will insure the building of interconnection grids that would enable power flow from places of abundance to power deficit areas.
The Central African Power Pool (CAPP) would also help the development of the power sector in Central Africa. The CAPP vision is to exploit the enormous hydroelectric potentialities of Central Africa and to satisfy all demands in electricity for the household, states and central African industry. The Nile Basin Power Forum (NBPF) “recognizes the significant socioeconomic and power-system benefits that can be realized from regional cooperation. This forum provides an important means for cooperating in the development of electric power resources in the Nile Basin.” Furthermore, NBPF will build on national power master and regional plans, with linkages to existing power forums.
We are confident that energy initiatives that are operational under the African Energy Commission (AFREC) 3 and the New African Union vision under agenda 2063 will serve to set regional energy priorities. These initiatives will also help integrate the energy policies of several African countries, to realize energy’s crucial role in the attainment of Economic Transformation through clean energy.
6. AFRICAN NATIONS PARLIAMENTS AND THE AGENDA OF 2030
In September 2015, Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as a direct follow-up to the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 when Member States committed to reinvigorating the global partnership for sustainable development and to working together with major groups and other stakeholders in addressing implementation gaps. The 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 accompanying targets. Among other thematic areas, Member States identified energy as one of the priorities.
Sustainable energy is a key enabler of sustainable development for all countries and all people. Countries will not be able to achieve their development goals without access to reliable and affordable sustainable energy services. Energy is critical to tackling poverty eradication, while decarbonizing energy is central to mitigating climate change. However, Energy powers opportunities transforms lives, economies and countries. As a result of the key role that energy plays in sustainable development, a stand-alone goal for energy now exists: Energy SDG 7 is to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
However, according to the African Union Commission (2015) African countries adopt AGENDA 2063, as a collective vision and roadmap for the next fifty years. Aim of this Agenda is to speed-up among other actions, eradication of poverty in the coming decades, through enhanced investment in the productive capacities (skills and assets) of our people, improving incomes, creating jobs and providing basic necessities of life.
It also aiming at harnessing all African energy resources to ensure modern, efficient, reliable, cost-effective, renewable and environmentally friendly energy to all African households, businesses, industries and institutions. This is through building the national and regional energy pools and grids, and PIDA energy projects.
These two agendas clearly touches issues of economic transformation through access to affordable energy. It is my hope that, we parliamentarians will use our constitutional roles to see that these agendas have clear Avenue in our countries.
7. WHAT PARLIAMENTARIANS CAN DO
To ensure better Economic transformation in Africa through access to affordable and clean energy by 2030; Parliamentarians can do the following: -
(i) To enact Laws;
Promoting enaction of Laws and policies that will provide a concrete option that will spur debate and discussion on pertinent issues such as energy and specificallyrenewable of clear and clean energy.
(ii) Oversight Function
The regular work of Parliamentarians is examined through a legislature of departmental committees and more generally, by a committee on public accounts, commonly referred to as the Public Accounts Committee or PAC; and other Committee of the same nature. These groups subject the financial operations of government and semi-governmental undertakings to close examination usually by reviewing reports of the Auditor General on the past year’s accounts.
Therefore, through field visits to various projects; parliamentarians are offered a unique opportunity to see how renewable energy development can impact communities and transform lives. Therefore, it will be easy to witness first hand if and how approved projects are being managed and implemented.
(iii) To scrutinize government policy and administration, including proposal for expenditure; and debating major Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which energy has been identified as one of the priorities.
(iiii) Government support to Local Project
Advising Government to support Local projects that provides linkage to other projects that will enable the transformation and access to clean and clear energy.
Energy efficiency undertakes major functions on sustainable emancipation of institutions and countries. It has become very important to substitute fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy as they have been linked to significant reduction in carbon emissions, mitigate climate change as well as solve many challenges associated with energy poverty. However, it must be emphasized that exploitation of non-exhaustible sources of energy is only sustainable if they are consumed in ways that do not cause damage to existing environments.
Thus, weak energy policies as well as inefficient energy technology contribute to unsustainability even when renewable sources of energy have been adopted. As Parliamentarians we have to make sure that strong policies for clean energy in our nations are formulated but again oversight of what we deliberate or conventionally agreed are well domesticated to transformation our economies. Additionally, an important energy efficient strategy towards improving residential area sustainability involve instituting energy reward systems, improving environmental quality, establishing green homes, energy saving house appliances, renewable energy utility and improving public awareness on energy matters. On that account, a sustainable future is imperative when sound structures that address energy consumption matters have to be established in our nations, implemented and adequately furnished with clear monitoring and regulative frameworks. This can be achieved when parliamentarians effectively play their roles.