Speaking at the Junior Indaba, Dlamini Zuma said that coal’s availability and cost advantage meant that it would continue to play a role in Africa’s energy provision.
This comes in the light of news that Nigeria plans to source 30% of its power generation from coal. While Nigeria has extensive gas resources, availability of supply is often a challenge with much of the available resource being exported, or being disrupted by militants.
Nigeria has experienced extensive power generation challenges and it is hoped a move to a more diversified energy mix will address some of these challenges.
Alex Nwengbu, who represented the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, invited South African companies to invest in Nigeria and help the country achieve its coal-based power generation target.
Dlamini Zuma spoke further about the need for industrialization, beneficiation of raw minerals and the importance of adding value in the challenge of addressing poverty in Africa.
“As long as you are an exporter of raw materials, you cannot determine the price of any material that you produce,” she said.
“If you look at all these big economies and medium-sized countries that have developed, they have developed because of mineral resources. Even those who don’t have them… have used mineral resources to develop. What has Africa done? It has supplied mineral resources to those countries so that they can develop and Africa has been left under-developed,” she told reporters.
During her keynote speech, Dlamini Zuma told the audience that it was “time [for] Africans [to] take charge of our own resources and use them to industrialise our own economies.”