Zimbabwe joins International Energy Forum


  • World
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

HARARE, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe on Wednesday joined the International Energy Forum (IEF), bringing the organization's total number of member countries to 73, said sources from the Zimbabwean Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.

The IEF also confirmed the development in a statement Wednesday.

"Zimbabwe is pleased to join the International Energy Forum to promote dialogue with fellow members on pressing energy issues," said Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe's minister of finance, economic development and investment promotion, who participated in a signing ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He said closer collaboration with the top actors in the global energy market is of great value to Zimbabwe as it seeks to reduce energy poverty and enhance energy security while facing up to the challenges caused by price inflation, climate change, and geopolitical uncertainty.

IEF Secretary-General Joseph McMonigle said the IEF is pleased to welcome Zimbabwe as a full member, which brings its community of African members to 23 countries. He said the IEF is committed to ensuring that Zimbabwe's and Africa's voices are heard in the global energy dialogue, especially the urgent need to scale up the supply of reliable and affordable energy to eradicate energy poverty, which is a prerequisite for development.

"We also look forward to collaborating with Zimbabwe on the energy transition, exploring how it can expand the electricity grid to integrate new baseload and renewable energy sources," McMonigle said.

Zimbabwe, which has faced perennial power shortages over the years due to inadequate investments in the energy sector, has in recent years been implementing new energy projects to ramp up power generation to meet rising demand.

Over the last five years, the country has implemented two major Chinese-funded energy projects, which have contributed an additional 900 MW to the national grid. Still, installed capacity remains insufficient to meet demand, and rolling blackouts are significantly burdening the country's economic growth and competitiveness.

The World Bank recently said that the power shortages are costing Zimbabwe an estimated 6.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per year, which comprises 2.3 percent of GDP in generation inefficiencies and excessive network losses, and 3.8 percent of GDP on the downstream costs of unreliable energy.

The World Bank projects that Zimbabwe's peak electricity demand will grow substantially from 1,950 MW in 2022 to 5,177 MW by 2030.

Zimbabwe gets the bulk of its electricity from hydro and thermal power stations. It is currently generating about 1,500 MW against a peak demand of about 1,700 MW of electricity and plugs the deficit through imports from neighboring countries.

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