Heavyweight supporters line up behind Inga as big hydro returns to centre stage

In depth
Issue 255 - 31 May 2013 | 7 minute read

The World Bank Group (WBG), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other big donors have fallen in behind the African Union and regional governments who see mega-projects as the key to overcoming sub-Saharan Africa’s alarmingly low levels of energy access. Environmental protests, which did so much to stymie big hydro projects in the last decade, have been drowned out as a range of stakeholders have come to believe that only Grand Inga and other big hydro schemes can allow Africa to overcome its gaping energy deficits. Such is President Jacob Zuma’s enthusiasm to put flesh on the bones of his agreements with President Joseph Kabila that South Africa has been “camping out” in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to secure a leading role in developing the estimated 40GW Grand Inga HEP dam, one close observer of the process said.

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