09.06.2005 General News

Congress Delegates agreed to collaborate

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Accra, June 9, GNA - Delegates to the 15th Congress and Exhibition of the Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa (UPDEA) ended their five-day meeting in Accra on Thursday resolving to cooperate in the establishment of power pools to enhance rural and cross-border electrification. They also agreed on establishing a databank by October this year to make sharing of information among member utilities easier.

The congress also decided to work towards creating a common standard for electrical materials among member countries so as to cut down on the overhead cost of importing such materials as individuals. UPDEA is made up of 45 member utilities from 37 African countries and aimed to promote regional integration through the establishment of power pools and interconnections between countries.

The five-day Congress and Exhibition in Accra was to create a platform for the exchange of experience and ideas among African utilities, development partners and specialised institutions in the energy sector. About 400 delegates representing 37 African countries and some affiliate members from Europe and America attended the Congress on the theme: "Access to Electricity for all People of Africa Through a Pooling of Energy Resources."

Mr. Joshua Ofedie, President of UPDEA stressed the need for effective collaboration to be able to attain the Union's targets by 2008. He said cooperation was important since individual countries had not been able to attract capital to develop their abundant energy resources, putting pressures on the people to rely on other costly sources of income.

Mr Ofedie pledged to sustain the activities of the Union and ensure that it gained the recognition necessary to position it to effectively play its role in the governance of the power sector in all the countries. He expressed satisfaction about the outcome of the meeting and said the resolution reached at the congress would serve as catalyst to influencing the direction of economic development of the continent. The next UPDEA meeting is scheduled for Nairobi, Kenya.

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