“When people talk about sustainable and inclusive growth, you can’t have that without jobs. The other connection that needs to be made is around electricity, healthcare and clean water because that is the foundation for any form of sustainable job creation,” said John Rice, vice chairman of General Electric (GE), and president and CEO of GE Global Growth and Operations.
(READ MORE: Manufacturing key to alleviating unemployment)
“If you don’t have electricity, if you don’t have healthy people, if you don’t have clean water, you can’t do all the other things that are required to create the jobs that lead to sustainable, inclusive growth.”
Forging inclusive growth and creating jobs is the theme at this year’s World Economic Forum on Africa, which is currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria.
The electricity crisis on the continent is especially expected to feature at the forum this year. According to commercial lender, Ecobank, over the next 15 years, Africa needs to add an extra 300 gigawatts of capacity to meet its electricity demand growth.
(READ MORE: WEF Africa to address quality of African growth)
Rice believes that in order to tackle this issue, as well as to encourage investment in Africa’s electricity space, there needs to be stability and transparency.
“The governments need to do more. There needs to be more visibility and predictability around the availability of fuel, with an established pricing mechanism and the offtake agreements for that electricity have to be clear in a way that attracts investment,” he said.
“If investors have those two things – transparency on the input side, predictability on the output side, they’re going to be much more inclined to invest and create the power generation capacity that these countries need.”