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The last century has demonstrated that every facet of human development is woven around a sound and stable energy supply regime. Electricity remains the preferred energy source for serving industrial, commercial and domestic customers. It should be noted that the organization of society, national and social security are highly dependent on the availability of energy supplies. There is a strong correlation between the per capita gross national product (GNP), per capita energy consumption and the standard of living of any society. Hitherto, Africa has had the lowest energy per capita in the world. This makes energy poverty one of the major causes of under-development in the continent.

Since electricity is the engine of economic growth and development, it is imperative that concerted efforts and aggressive investments made in infrastructure that will facilitate trade and investments regionally and across the continent beginning with the actualization of a “Smart Integrated African Electric Power Grid” driven by modern tools and advances of HVDC Engineering and Technology, which is central in supporting Africa’s sustained economic growth and development. We can look to the future with earnest anticipation of seeing the realization of a Smart Integrated African Electric Power Grid built on the cornerstone of green energy and harnessing over 75000MW potential of Africa’s clean renewable hydro-electric power as a share of a vast energy mix made of conventional and alternative energy resources.

African countries with visionary leaders are poised to undertake the greatest challenge which is to transform their economies from resource-based to manufacturing and knowledge-based economies. This will involve taking full charge of our resources, integrating our markets, building infrastructure, investing in human capital and creating an enabling environment for domestic and foreign direct investments to thrive in Africa and South Africa plays a leading role in this endeavor. A key strategy is for our national governments to invest in human capital while building a critical mass of skills on the continent and enable us become a major player in the global arena. We therefore have to train, develop and supply Africa with highly motivated, marketable and competent professionals who understand the new and existing issues concerning the profession, namely: the generation, transportation and distribution of electrical energy to serve consumers in an efficient, safe, economic and reliable manner.

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