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Christians urged to invest in Africa

by Hannah Tooley

It was speaking after the Africa Progress Panel released a new report encouraging investment in the continent.

The document, 'Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa's Energy and Climate Opportunities', is being supported by activist behind Band Aid, Sir Bob Geldof.

The report is calling for a ten-fold increase in power generation in order to provide all Africans with access to electricity by 2030.

Paul Cook, Advocacy Director, at the Christian charity Teafund told Premier: "We absolutely need to continue to see aid flowing to the world's poorest nations, and it's great that the UK's continuing to hold to its 0.7 per cent commitment to spending on the aid budget, that's really important.

"But we also need to help these nations develop their own businesses and economies in ways that are environmentally sustainable so that ultimately they can be in charge of their own destiny, and they won't have to be on aid forever and that they'll come a day when we can gladly say goodbye to the aid budget because nations don't need it anymore because they're lifted out of poverty and standing on their own feet."

The report is aimed to reduce the gap between rich and poor, as well as boost growth as well as provide leadership of climate matters at an international level.

Ex-UN Secretary General and chair of the Panel, Kofi Annan, said: "We categorically reject the idea that Africa has to choose between growth and low-carbon development.

"Africa needs to utilize all of its energy assets in the short term, while building the foundations for a competitive, low-carbon energy infrastructure."

The Africa Progress Panel estimates that around 621 million people lack access to electricity - and this number is rising.

The findings show that Sub-Saharan Africa uses less electricity than Spain, it also showed that over the course of one year someone boiling a kettle twice a day in the United Kingdom uses five times more electricity than an Ethiopian consumes over the same year.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Paul Cook here: 

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