Africa’s most successful businessman, Aliki Dangote has posited that the continent of Africa only requires a maximum of 20 out of its total 54 presidents to be visionary leaders to realize development.
The Nigerian business magnate speaking at a forum organized by the African Center for Economic Transformation in Accra said a maximum of 20 presidents with vision like President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast will propel the continent towards achieving development.
“We do not need to have all 54 countries to have visionary leaders. What we need is a maximum of 20 of the likes of Presidents of Ghana, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire,” he stated
Speaking at the forum, the Executive Chairman of Dangote Group tagged erratic power supply as one of the biggest challenges facing the continent of Africa.
“No power, no growth. We need to make sure we tackle the issue of power,” the businessman said at the first-panel discussion at the Development Finance Forum (DFF) held in Accra.
He noted that the inefficient supply of power on the continent threatens the survival of small businesses as income generated by such businesses eventually goes into purchasing fuel to power generators.
“Meanwhile, these generators are meant to be backup or standby. But now the generators are those that are providing consistent power and the grid is now standby,” he bemoaned.
While calling for urgent action to address the situation, Mr Dangote who is adjudged Africa’s richest man said “that does not make sense. For example, the entire state of Kano, with a population of 21 million people, has a power supply of less than 35 megawatts from the grid. These are the issues we need to do. We must make sure that power is available, if not businesses cannot grow.”
President Akufo-Addo speaking on energy in his opening address at the forum said the Ghanaian government has “encouraged majority Ghanaian private sector participation in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the main distributor of power in Ghana, under the Millennium Challenge Compact with the U.S. Government.”
“Government has reviewed existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Our policy is to move Ghana from a reliance on thermal towards renewable energy. We have, thus, decided that new PPAs will only be signed for renewable energy,” he added.
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