Wednesday, 7 October 2015

SAHARA GROUP UNDERSCORES NEED TO INVEST IN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

An African energy, power and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has underscored the need for governments to explore more partnership platforms with the private sector in the quest for alternative energy sources, saying that the attainment of affordable energy through investments in alternative sources would significantly enhance socio-economic growth in rural communities across the globe by 2030, Tectono Business Review reports.

This was made known by the Executive Director of Sahara Group, Architect Tonye Cole, at a meeting dedicated to ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ during the ongoing 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York. He was on the advisory board of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F).

The meeting was focused on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) which was attended by the President of the World Bank, Mr. Jim Yong Kim; Foreign Minister of Denmark, Mr. Kristian Jensen; Prime Minister of Benin, Mr. Lionel Zinsou; European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimica, and the President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, among others.

Architect Cole explained: “Substantial investments are required to achieve affordable and sustainable energy in developing nations. Wind and solar energy sources are possible options that can be harnessed in rural communities where consumption is relatively low. With the right strategy and unwavering commitment from all stakeholders, we will be setting solid foundations for deploying alternative energy sources to transform lives and small businesses for disadvantaged communities across the globe.”

According to Architect Cole, governments and power firms needed to collaborate to explain to the populace the value chain of the power sector to ensure support for policies as well as address incidences of energy losses and theft that disrupt energy availability in developing nations.

Tectono Business Review gathered that delegates at the meeting were unanimous in urging the development of location specific action plans as the world seeks to achieve SDG 7. The World Bank President said following its collaboration with the UN on the Millennium Development Goals, the World Bank was excited about SDG 7 and further partnership with the private sector in a bid to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030.

The AfDB President and immediate past Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, urged African nations to take ownership of the process of taking affordable energy to rural communities, adding that his tenure at the AfDB would focus on promoting sustainability and maximum impact for all interventions introduced by the institution.

Sahara Group said it had, among other initiatives and collaborations, been promoting alternative energy sources through the “Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge”, a capacity-building competition that seeks to produce inventions that support renewable, alternative and sustainable sources of power supply. The competition, which the company hosts through Sahara Foundation, inspires students of higher institutions of learning across Nigeria to explore opportunities for achieving sustainable power supply within their environment.