Pan African Connection
Bringing Literacy, Education and Development to disadvantaged communities across Africa
Across Southern African countries there is a shortage of electricity.
Zambia produces all its electricity from hydro power, but no new facilities have been built for a number
Zambian populations experience rolling blackouts as loads are shed to the available capacity.
In the area of petrol or benzene or gasoline, the current cost for fuel is K5, 850.00 (Kwacha, the local
currency) per liter, this is equivalent in today’s currency valuation as $4.20 US Dollars a gallon, fairly
equivalent to what the US consumer was paying at the height of the overpriced barrel of oil of almost
$150.00 at its peak.
As a sidebar; the price of a barrel of oil finally started going down when the Saudi’s decided to play to
the speculators cards. They offered to sell oil at the then Futures prices, “So you want to buy oil at
$145.00 dollars a barrel? Oh well! We offer it to you at that price" (this also came after production
hikes). This drove speculators (investors) who had flocked to oil looking for profits out of the oil market.
They had driven the oil price higher after stocks were taking a beating and there was no other place to
keep getting sizable returns on investment. The oil giants experienced last year a record year for profits,
which has come at the backs of third world country populations and not the American market. (this was
written in 2009).
It is in this context of volatility and lack of native capacity that these nations have the task of increasing
jobs and provide increasing services to their populations. It is also no secret that the economic
downturn in the world has put additional strains on this year’s budgets. They will weather the storm this
year but multi-year depressed mineral prices will accentuate the problems of the poor.
Our target communities therefore, need to learn to depend on their abilities, capacities and innovation
to help them with their own power requirements. This is the reason that we will be seeking to bring
locally generated power with multi-year low cost loans. This is part of the contract arrangement with the
supervising NGO and Pan-African Connection that these local vulnerable communities would make.
As economies begin to grow in the rural communities, farmer’s cooperatives may be able to invest in
power generation to feed the grid with their excess capacity; bringing an additional line of income, jobs,
training and increasing knowledge and skills.
The high cost for some energy products that people pay for today; has prepared the way for investments
in alternative energy sources, what is needed is that taxation laws be commensurate with the need to
import and install the equipment or components for this task.
Just as was mentioned elsewhere on this website; the lack of capacity in the energy can be a great
incentive to place additional investments by communities and investors in renewable forms of energy.
They are certainly already paying premium prices for energy use, this fact alone prepares for the way
forward for these localities.