Arusha-Investors, financial institutions, and policy makers in the energy sector are today meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to identify investment opportunities in the sector.
Under the theme, “Energy: A Viable Business Opportunity”, the conference will be attended by East African and overseas companies with interest in improving access to reliable power supplies and reducing energy costs.
Energy supply in East Africa is characterized by high rate of power rationing, high energy prices, and low electrification rates, further increasing the cost of doing business in the region.
“The prime obstacle for business in East Africa is the high price of electricity, which is 5-10 times higher than in Egypt or South Africa,” said Charles Mbogori, the Executive Director of East African Business Council (EABC).
The East African Energy Master Plan, whose strategy is to exploit resources and to share power among the countries through the creation of inter-connectors for power transmission, identifies viable opportunities for generating more electricity, from hydro in Uganda, geothermal in Kenya, or natural gas in Tanzania.
The EABC said investments in the energy sector are, to a large extent, still controlled by the public sector, which still struggles to deliver the capacity to cover the rapidly increasing demand.
Current energy policies in many Partner States are not well developed and do not provide incentive for private sector investment.
According to the council, the conference will look at the current policy framework with the aim of developing policies that will accelerate private sector investments in the energy sector.
“Developing a good policy framework is necessary to encourage capital investment in the energy sector,” Mbogori said.