Energy development has not kept pace with the rising demand for power in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Reliable electricity supply is one of the biggest challenges faced in the SADC region, impacting GDP growth. What we see is that some countries have power surpluses while others have deficits, but sharing surpluses has not been possible due to lack of interconnector capacity among southern African countries.
Power generation capacity is expected to double by 2025 in the SADC region with the DRC, Zambia and Mozambique projected to have excess capacity; while South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are projected to suffer a deficit.
There are a number of cross-border energy transmission projects in development that will enable the efficient transfer of power throughout the region, allowing countries with excess capacity to export power to those in a deficit, through energy trading.
One key strategic project is the US$250m Zizabona transmission interconnector, linking Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. The Zizabona project will establish a western transmission corridor in Southern Africa and is targeted for completion by the end of 2018.
The Zizabona project is an example of regional cooperation and integration and will go directly to the heart of addressing the power deficit in SADC by enabling the four power utilities: Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation, Botswana Power Corporation, and Namibia Power Company to share power.
In Zambia, Copperbelt Energy Corporation, an independent power generation, transmission and distribution company, is looking to expand its power and energy solutions across Zambia and the rest of Africa. In March 2014 it raised USD70-million capital through a rights offer process on which Standard Bank Group and its operation in that country, Stanbic Bank, advised.
Projects of this nature will establish a robust power backbone for the region and create sufficient power capacity to unlock our latent industrial growth potential.