Energy sector officials have lamented as ‘shameful’ the fact that South Sudan has one of the world’s least access to electricity and the highest electricity tariffs.
Five months ago, the financial and business news website, Business Insider Africa ranked South Sudan as the worst county in electricity access in Africa with only 7 percent of the population having access to power.
Beck Awan Deng, the Managing Director of South Sudan Electricity Corporation said it is shameful that the country has the highest cost for electricity and its power access ranked the worst in the world.
“I was attending a meeting with the World Bank, and they were saying South Sudan has two things; it is among the countries with the least access to power, and secondly, it has one of the highest cost for electricity in the world,” said Awan.
“And when I was given a chance to respond, I said ‘you are very diplomatic,’ South Sudan is not one of the countries with least access to electricity. It has the least access among countries in the whole world and secondly, it has the highest cost for electricity in the world.”
Speaking at the launch of South Sudan Chamber of Energy in Juba Thursday, the official said he is ashamed to represent his corporation, knowing that his countries ranks poorest in electricity cost and accessibility.
“Although I work in that field, it is shameful to represent such an organization but still let us say the fact [as it is], we have the highest electricity tariffs in the world.”
Mou Deng Riiny, the Chief Executive Officer of Sun-Gate Solar Solutions and Energy companies based in Wau, also echoed Deng’s remarks.
“South Sudan is the least electrified country on the entire planet. Yes, it is a shame, but it is also a golden opportunity for innovation if we put our minds to it, said Deng.
He said “we can turn the tables on this” within 10 years.
“We can dramatically change from the least electrified to one of the highest electrified countries. In order to do that, we will need to prioritize the electrification of this country.”
He appealed to the government to prioritize the provision of enough electricity to propel economic development in the country.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established South Sudan Chamber of Energy and Minerals said, the body will work with stakeholders to address the challenges facing the energy and minerals sectors.
“South Sudan chamber of energy and minerals will truly be an invaluable partner to the government and the other stakeholder in the energy and mineral sectors,” he said.
“You are all aware that effective implementation of government regulations requires vigorous awareness-raising campaigns among the stakeholders, this is an area where the South Sudan Chamber of Energy and Minerals will play a pivotal role.”
In May this year, South Sudan government was reported to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ethiopia for the purchase of 100 MW of electricity over the next three years.
The MoH provides for the construction of a 337 km, 230 kv transmission line that will connect Ethiopia’s Gambella region to South Sudan’s Upper Nile region in the next two years.
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