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Lusaka, Thursday, October 5, 2017: Six COMESA countries have so far submitted lists of small hydro power projects that need development to the COMESA Secretariat for onward submission to potential developers and cooperating partners for consideration and implementation. These are Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan and Zambia.

The remaining countries have now been given until the end of November 2017 to submit their lists. The Secretariat had earlier this year asked Members States to compile and submit the list of the hydro power projects that could be developed and eventually contribute to existing power.

According to the final report of the 10th meeting of the COMESA Ministers of infrastructure responsible for transport, communications, information technology and energy, that ended yesterday in Zambia, the implementation of these projects will contribute to improving power generation through physical infrastructure connectivity in the region.

The meeting noted that currently there are several power generation projects under development and construction in the member countries totaling an estimated 27, 821 megawatts.

“While the COMESA region has abundant renewable energy sources including small hydro power which is yet to be harnessed, thermal power generation still dominates, accounting for more than 70% of power generation,” the Minister said in the report.

The total installed power generation capacity in the COMESA region is currently at 65, 791 megawatts representing a 36% increase from the estimates of 48, 352 in 2012.

The report stated that the development of energy infrastructure for power generation, transmission and distribution remained a challenge and one of the key priorities for the bloc.

The Ministers urged member states to fast track the implementation of the generation projects to boost energy security to enhance COMESA’s competitiveness. Further, they urged member states to take up the annual training workshops organized by COMESA and the International Centre on Small Hydro Power Development (ICSHP) through the COMESA ICSHP co-office.