L’or noir solide de l’Afrique

LAGOS – Rares sont les infrastructures de services du monde développé à être autant considérées comme allant de soi que l’énergie électrique. Pour les consommateurs des pays industrialisés, la fourniture d’énergie ininterrompue est une chose naturelle. Ce n’est pas tant le cas en Afrique, qui connaît l’un des plus grands déficits énergétiques du monde, et où seulement deux personnes sur dix ont un accès à l’électricité.

Selon la plus récente enquête du Fonds monétaire international Perspectives économiques régionales – Afrique subsaharienne, rien qu’en 2007 presque deux tiers des pays de la région ont connu une grave crise énergétique marquée par des coupures de courant fréquentes et prolongées.

Les centrales hydroélectriques ne manquent pas en Afrique. Cependant, beaucoup d’entre elles sont incapables de suivre le rythme rapide de la croissance démographique et les augmentations de demande qui en découlent. En outre, elles sont sujettes à de fréquentes sécheresses qui restreignent leur production de façon significative, et réduisent nombre d’entre elles au rôle de point de repère décoratif. Les démographies en plein essor dans des pays comme le Nigeria et le Ghana impliquent une plus grande extraction des ressources en eau pour générer de l’énergie. L’expansion rapide de l’activité agricole demande de plus en plus d’eau dans tout le continent.

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