The Prime Minister of Swaziland, His Excellency the Right Honourable Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini says the SADC High Level Ministerial Resource Mobilisation Workshop is a drive to mobilise resources for the energy sector in the region to accelerate industrialization and, ultimately uplift the welfare of SADC citizens.
Right Honourable Dr. Barnabas Dlamini was speaking at the High-Level Ministerial Workshop on Energy Investment at Royal Swazi Convention Center in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
“The existing energy platform, from which we move forward at the present time, is of modest dimensions to say the very least. As a region, SADC has yet to meet the basic energy and water needs of its people,” adding that lack of resources has stalled the achievement of the full potential of the 15 SADC Member States.
“We have the SADC Industrialization Strategy, and the Roadmap to achieve it. The key question mark hangs over the issue of the resource mobilization,” said the Right Hon. Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister added that, “access to electricity in some of our member states is below 20%, while only 60% of SADC’s population has access to safe drinking water.”
He called on Member States to be committed to facilitate, accelerate and remove barriers that affect the timely signing of Power Purchase Agreements.
The SADC Executive Secretary Her Excellency, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax underscored the important role of energy in the social and economic development.
“Energy plays a pivotal role in economic growth and development. Energy and other forms of resources, such as water, are fundamental enablers for industrialisation and improvement in the quality of lives of our people,” said Dr Tax, adding that Energy plays a vital role in the delivery of services in other essential sectors of the economy such as health, food production, education and transport.
The High Level Ministerial Resource Mobilisation Workshop was attended by SADC Ministers responsible for Energy and Water, National and Regional Development Finance Institutions, Senior Executives from the Multi-Lateral Development Banks, International Cooperating Partners, Private Sector and other key strategic partners, including key energy and water sector stakeholders.