SADC MINISTERS MEET TO IMPROVE REGION’S ENERGY SUPPLY

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SADC MINISTERS MEET TO IMPROVE REGION’S ENERGY SUPPLY
SADC MINISTERS MEET TO IMPROVE REGION’S ENERGY SUPPLY

Africa-Press – Eswatini. Ministers responsible for water and energy within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) yesterday (Thursday, May 30, 2024) met in Luanda, Angola to find ways to improve the short supply of energy within the region.

According to information sourced from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy’s Facebook page, the 42nd Southern African Development Community (SADC) Joint Committee of Ministers responsible for Energy and Water was also attended by Minister of Natural Resources and Energy His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Lonkhokhela.

Deliberations in the energy sector were centred around addressing the pressing issue of security of energy supply within the region. Recognizing the paramount importance of a stable and sustainable power sector, discussions revolved around the progress made on SADC’s priority areas for regional power sector development. Additionally, a proposal for the development of a regional transmission infrastructure financing facility was put forth, aiming to foster greater cooperation and synergy among member states in the energy sector.

Shifting the spotlight to the water sector, the meeting underscored the significance of implementing groundwater projects across SADC member states. In this regard, Eswatini received a sub grant from the SADC Groundwater Management Institute (GMI). The grant will enable the implementation of a project titled “Improving knowledge on groundwater availability through the assessment of available groundwater resources, capacity development, and innovative groundwater information management.” This project holds great promise for enhancing Eswatini’s understanding and management of groundwater resources, ultimately contributing to the sustainable development of the region.

Moreover, the meeting highlighted the urgent need for increased financial support from other funding bodies to bolster water infrastructure projects in SADC member states, including Eswatini. Recognizing the vital role that water plays in various sectors, such as agriculture, industry, and human well-being, the ministers emphasised the importance of investing in robust water infrastructure to ensure the efficient and equitable distribution of this precious resource among member states.

The 42nd SADC Joint Committee meeting served as a platform for fruitful discussions, fostering collaboration and cooperation among member states in the pursuit of sustainable energy and water development. With the presence and active participation of the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, HRH, Prince Lonkhokhela, the meeting undoubtedly provided a vital stepping stone towards achieving the shared goals of the SADC community.

According to the SADC website, the meeting was presided over by Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, who is also the Chairperson of the SADC Joint Committee of Ministers Responsible for Energy and Water.

In his opening remarks Honourable Azevedo stated that the SADC region is faced with challenges brought by El Niño induced drought and floods, it is therefore imperative to consider adaption and mitigation measures. On this note, the Minister proposed some measures such as improving water management strategies, including water conservation, efficient irrigation practices, and investment in water infrastructure. He also stated that embarking on diversification of energy sector by investing in alternate sources of energy to reduce overdependence on hydropower and mitigate the impacts of El Niño related disruptions.

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