Issues arising from pooling resources and integrating economies
Integrating Africa is the AfDB Group’s blog on regional integration in Africa. It chronicles the issues arising from African countries’ efforts as they work to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies. Read More
A regional approach to infrastructure development is potentially transformative. We have heard of the large hydropower potential of the Inga Reserve in DRC. This national resource has significant regional implications and could be a game-changer for the African electricity market, with the potential to singularly nearly double the electricity generation capacity of the continent’s largest power pool, while adding cleaner and cheaper electricity to the grid. But four decades after the commissioning of Inga 1, a mere 4% of the available potential has been harnessed.
Power trading in Africa started in the 1950s, in the form of bilateral agreements between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. This trade involved a 500 kV high voltage DC power supply that was 1,700 km in length. Other bilateral agreements followed in different parts of the continent until the development of the first power pool. The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) was created in 1995. It is now the most advanced power pool on the continent.