LONDON, (The Southern African Times) Angola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sun Africa and US-based AfricaGlobal Shaffer to create the largest minigrid energy project in Africa. This is part of a $1.5 billion project to be implemented by Sun Africa.
The project is expected to cover the southern provinces of Cunene, Namibe, Cuando Cubango and Huíla in Angola. The Memorandum says they project will consist of the electrification of all municipal headquarters and main communes in the country.
The Angolan Minister of Energy and Water, João Baptista Borges, signed the document on Angola’s behalf, in the presence of the President, João Lourenço, as part of a visit to the US.
Borges said that the objective of the project is to supply electricity and water to the population and promote the emergence of economic ventures.
“The electrification will be done either through conventional solutions, with the extension of lines and the construction of substations, or using solar energy. The US is one of the leading countries in the installation of these systems, mainly in the remote regions, where this solution is the most available and accessible”, he stated.
The project features the installation of water supply systems, said the minister, adding that Sun Africa will mobilise financial resources from the US EximBank to cover the needs of the project.
He said that as soon as the contracts are signed the execution period will be defined, predicting that the project could be implemented in two years.
According to the official, the MoU is a reflection of the importance the US attaches to cooperation with Angola, the credibility the country currently deserves with US financial institutions and evidence of the priority the Angolan executive gives to expanding access to electricity and water.
The Memorandum was signed on the sidelines of a roundtable on investments in Angola, an initiative of the United States-Angola Chamber of Commerce.
The president of the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce, Pedro Godinho, praised the roundtable and added that the turnout at this event spiked among many American companies which did not participate in previous events.
He said the increase in participation in the Angolan event was due to the reforms underway in Angola, with emphasis on cracking down on corruption, as well as the credibility the country has begun to gain with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.