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Zimbabwe will next week host the 11th Regional Electricity Regulators of Southern Africa annual conference which will place the spotlight on power shortages viewed as a stumbling block to regional long-term economic development goals.

The conference will run from December 10 to 11.

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority spokesperson Mr Gladmore Njanji said the meeting sought to consolidate new and ongoing efforts to ensure regional energy security.

“The conference will be held under the theme “Leveraging the SADC region’s energy potential through an integrated approach”, he said.

The region’s power deficit is estimated at more than 4 000 megawatts as individual countries struggle to meet the growing demand in both cities and rural areas.

Mr Njanji said other issues that would be discussed include developing a regional electricity market, grid integration of renewable power projects as well as clean energy. He said the meeting would also discuss ways of creating an enabling environment for investment in the sector.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire would be one of the guest speakers.

As part of efforts to address the power situation in the region, Southern African governments have established the Southern African Power Pool, whose main mandate is to facilitate provision of reliable and economic electricity.

SAPP is headquartered in Zimbabwe.

Analysts note that the region has for long planned major investments in power generation but most of the projects remain on paper due to funding challenges.

Among such much vaunted projects is the Grand Inga in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is expected to generate over 40 000MW.

New Ziana.

Source : The Herald