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Energy and Water, levers for growth

Article - April 3, 2014
Ambitious expansion plans from the Angolan government aims to increase the country’s power production capacity fivefold by 2017.
In a bid to power the nation’s reconstruction following the end of the 27-year civil war, the Ministry of Energy and Water increased Angola’s installed power generation capacity from 700MW in 2002 to 1,200MW in 2012. The government’s 1.7 billion kwanza ($17.5 million) investment announced last year will further increase the country’s power generation capacity to 6,200MW by 2017. 
According to Minister of Energy and Water João Baptista Borges, the rapidly expanding capital of Luanda accounts for 70-75% of Angola’s energy consumption, with Benguela, Huambo, Lubango and Cabinda being the country’s other main energy consumers.
The government has called on the private sector to join it on its quest to improve the delivery and quality of Angola’s energy and water supplies. Demand for both utilities is expected to soar as the country’s ongoing development creates a ravenous appetite for both resources that must be fed if Angola is to achieve its full potential. 
Last year, the Ministry embarked various programs connected to Angola’s Energy Security Plan and National Emergency Plan for Water, which have been designed to bolster both sectors. The Minister says their ongoing efforts aim “to significantly increase power production and reduce the deficit that existed in terms of electricity supply. The deficit was the reason behind the power cuts that caused many constraints to customers.” 
In addition, the government’s Water for All program, which includes constructing and modernisation dams and improving the quality and quantity of water, is expected to boost agricultural production in rural areas and contribute to the country’s poverty reduction goals. Launched in 2007, the 10-year Water for All initiative has so far reached a 57% coverage rate and more than 4 million people in rural areas now have access to potable water.

More than 4 million people in rural areas now have access to potable water as a result of the Water for All initiative.
Less than one-third of the population has access to the national grid and the Ministry has been working on a photovoltaic project in rural areas, which is part of the “Aldeia Solar” (Solar Village) program. “This is enabling the functioning, at night, of schools, health centres [and] police stations,” Mr Borges told Angolan media earlier this year.
This year, the electricity sector is set to undergo significant reforms. The state’s ENE and EDEL power companies will be joined by three new companies that will be created to provide power production, transmission and distribution services across the country. 
One of the strongest Angolan companies in the public works sector is Telectrinf (Telecommunications and Electricity Ltd). It has more than two decades of experience in Angola’s energy, water and telecom sectors, and since its establishment in 1991 it has been a key partner of Angola Telecom and involved in major telecom projects nationwide, as well as working with Sonangol and the military. It initially built up expertise in low-voltage lighting systems, street lighting and public building illumination, and has also more recently gained several high-voltage projects from rounds of public bids from the government.
Telectrinf also has partnerships with many international private companies, including Cisco, SMC and Aastra-Ericsson. Telectrinf’s main focus has been on enhancing Angolan technical know-how.  
“We are now looking to significantly improve the education of our people,” says José de Castro Guimaraes, Director General of Telectrinf. “We want to bring in foreign technicians and increase the number of trained technicians in the country. We have knowledge of Angola’s geography and this is an advantage that we can give to anyone who wants to enter into a partnership with us.”