Invest in energy – ministers

Transport ministers in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) have called for more investments into the energy sector to match the increasing power demands in the region.

Transport ministers in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) have called for more investments into the energy sector to match the increasing power demands in the region.

The ministers were attending the second regional meeting on infrastructure that ended yesterday at Hotel Novotel, Umubano.

The first meeting was held in April this year in Lusaka, Zambia.

Rwanda’s Infrastructure Minister Stanislas Kamanzi said that the energy sector is facing many challenges as the demand for power in most countries surpasses the supply by big margins.

He said it was critical that there should be more investment into the power generation and cross-border transmission projects.

He attributed the overwhelming energy consumption to the large industrial sector and increasing population growth rates in the region.      

The minister expressed the need for decisions taken in the ministerial meetings to be given appropriate attention to ensure speedy implementation.   

The Comesa Assistant Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, said that the body has developed strong positions in dealing with global trade blocs like the European Union.

He said the region has better positions in negotiations under the Economic Partnerships Agreements (EPAs).

He added that Comesa is now targeting the launch of the customs union in December next year.

The meeting was aimed at ensuring that infrastructure issues are kept at the forefront given the important role transport, communications and energy play in the production of goods and services.   

Participating countries included Rwanda, Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Uganda, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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