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The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the African Energy Commission of the African Union have called on African governments to set aside 30 percent of their energy funds for the development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in the rural areas.
The call was contained in a communique issued Thursday in Abuja at the end of an international workshop on Small, Mini and Micro hydropower Project Development and Management in Africa.
According to the communique, though African countries have the potential to develop SHP they need to build capacity at both institutional and individual level to achieve that.
It said the potential for SHP development is enormous because Africa has adequate water resources that could be harnessed to combat the acute shortage of electricity supply.
The communique said the increased promotion of SHP development in Africa for productive use could support employment generation and economic growth.
It also identified key barriers to SHP development in Africa to include insufficient data on SHP potential and lack of appropriate technologies.
Other barriers it identified includes inadequate local capacity in design and development of SHP projects, inadequate funding and financing for SHP project development, among others.
The communique called for the promotion of local manufacture of SHP equipment and components through investment promotion strategies and fiscal incentives.
News date: 26/09/2008