Southern Africa – the world’s next oil frontier
SOUTHERN AFRICA is a treasure of opportunities for the international oil industry and is now widely regarded as the new frontier of growth for ambitious explorers. Global oil prices have risen steadily since mid-2010, rising froma round US$70 a barrel in May of that year to US$123 a barrel for brent crude oil by the end of the first quarter of 2012. With annual growth in Africa's oil production expected to average four percent over the next five years and oil prices likely to continue rising, southern Africa is fast becoming an attractive region for ambitious explorers, seeking to tap the vast unexplored reserves available in the region.
Meeting Energy Capacity Needs in Southern Africa
The development of a vibrant energy sector able to ensure self-sufficiency is a high priority in the SADC region. Given a rapidly expanding economy, the region has since 1999 aimed for the provision of reliable and affordable energy services. Besides funding constraints, one of the challenges
to realizing some of the energy goals is meeting project schedules, and engineering and design. A lack of technical capacity at a regional level has been cited as a major factor affecting SADC’s ability to attain energy self-sufficiency.
Opportunities and Challenges of Financing Development in Southern Africa
Current energy shortages in southern Africa have led to a surge in projects aimed at augmenting generation capacity in the region. Starting in 2000, SADC has pushed for energy infrastructure investment and development to beat a crippling power shortage that has seen most countries in the region introducing load-shedding programmes to spread available supplies equitably. Member State utilities through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) have identified a number of priority projects for commissioning over the next few years to address the energy situation in the region.
Energy Security and the Quest for Self-sufficiency
SOUTHERN AFRICA has over the past two decades outlined its energy strategy and policy in several documents such as the SADC Protocol on Energy (1996), the SADC Energy Cooperation Policy and Strategy (1996) and the SADC Energy Activity Plan (2000). Although now out of date and already under review, the policy framework does at least encourage a regional approach to the development of the energy sector. However, this approach has hitherto not been backed by actual actions on the ground as Member States often opt for what may seem easier options in the short term in light of current shortages, options that could actually be insufficient in terms of addressing the long term energy needs of the region.
Transboundary energy security: Legal and Institutional Framework for Electricity Trading in SADC
CROSS-BORDER cooperation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) power sector is not a new phenomenon. Cooperation among Member States began as early as 1958, with the construction of a line between Nseke in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kitwe in Zambia to supply electricity to the Zambian copper mines. This laid the foundation for bilateral cooperative projects in the power sector and coincided with the construction of Kariba Dam in the late 1950s with its associated hydroelectric power stations (one each in Zambia and Zimbabwe). Regional cooperation in the power sector has expanded over the past 50 years, especially during the last 15 years as southern Africa moved to restore energy self-sufficiency.