On July 5, 2019 (local time), H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger held talks with the visiting Mr. Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO in Niamey, capital of Niger, and exchanged views on promoting Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) and sustainable development of energy and power in Niger, with important consensus reached.
Liu Zhenya introduced the concept and significance of Global Energy Interconnection (GEI), and expounded on the overall thoughts and related research results on Niger's energy interconnection development, based on the country’s resource endowment and power demand. Liu Zhenya said, Niger has huge potential in energy and power development, but it also faces major challenges such as lack of electricity and high electricity prices. It needs to embark on a clean development path, develop interconnected power network. While increase domestic clean energy development, it needs to strengthen cross-border grid interconnection and bring in clean hydropower from the Congo River. Such clean and cheap electricity supply will provide strong support to Niger for economic growth and improvement of people's living standards. GEIDCO is willing to leverage its international platform and professional expertise, to pull together wisdom and strength for the development of energy and power in Niger in terms of strategy, planning, technology and etc.
President Issoufou said, the energy issue is of great importance for the economic and social development of Niger and even Africa as a whole. At present, Niger faces difficulties in power development, e.g. Low installed capacity for power generation and high cost of electricity. The price of electricity in Niger is higher than the average level of Africa. He hoped to strengthen cooperation and exchange with GEIDCO, and carry out researches in various areas including hydropower, solar and wind power in a bid to work out actionable roadmap for reducing energy costs, improving the competitiveness and efficiency of clean energy in Niger. At present, only about 5% of hydropower resources in Africa is developed. Niger supports the development of hydropower projects in the lower reaches of the Congo River, such as Grand Inga, He believes that the project needs to rely on UHV technology with its long-distance, low-loss and large-capacity transmission advantages, and this will help make Grand Inga a successful example of UHV implementation in Africa.
During his visit to Niger, Liu Zhenya also held talks with Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) H.E. Vera Songwe. The two sides exchanged views on issues related to hydropower development in the lower reaches of the Congo River and reached many consensus. Vera Songwe remarked that technology, market and investment are important factors in the development of projects, such as Grand Inga, and it is necessary to carry out in-depth and detailed studies on the premise of meeting the power demand in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), and develop three cascade hydropower stations step by step. The UNECA has been committed to promoting energy accessibility and sustainable energy for all, and is willing to leverage its advantages and cooperate with GEIDCO to promote sustainable energy development in Africa and the world