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13.07.2004 Regional News

Technical Committee on Electricity meets

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Akosombo (E/R), July 13, GNA - The First Scientific Committee Meeting of the Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa (UPDEA) opened at Akosombo on Tuesday with a call on members for active cooperation to meet the primary goal of access for all people on the Continent to electricity.

Mr Joshua Ofedie, Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority, said electricity was critical to the economic and industrial development of the Continent and members needed to show commitment to the attainment of the goal of reaching all parts of the Continent with electricity.

The meeting, which is being attended by all the six study committees of the Scientific Committee, would review the status of implementation of the organisation's goals, such as the promotion of regional integration through establishment of power pools and interconnections between countries.

At the heart of the discussion would be the linking up of the Inga Hydro Electric Project of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a potential capacity of 70,000 Mega Watts, to the Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.

Mr Ofedie called on the UPDEA to lend its support to efforts to establish the West African Power Pool and the West African Gas Pipeline Project, which were measures aimed to make electricity available and affordable in the Sub-Region.

Mr Ofedie, who is also the Vice-Chairman of UPDEA, said the organisation intended to strengthen the cordial relationship between the African Development Bank, the African Energy Commission and the World Bank, among other organisations.

He urged members to give their support to the Cross-Border Villages Electrification Project being undertaken in partnership with the African Development Bank.

Mr Mutima Sakrini, Secretary General of the UPDEA, said plans were underway to build a data bank to facilitate data collection, processing and dissemination among members. 13 July 04

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