…President tells countrymen ‘electricity is not luxury’

Mozambique has established a $19 million new electricity sub-station in the Namialo administrative post in the Northern Province of Nampula. The substation is financed by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as part of the efforts to ensure the availability of reliable electricity supplies in Nampula and the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado, under the “Energy for All” programme.

Inaugurating the new station last Monday, President Filipe Nyusi told his countrymen to never regard electricity as a luxury. “Electricity is not a luxury”, declared Nyusi, and the expansion of access to electricity had an enormous impact on social and economic activities.

Through the ‘Energy for All’ programme, he said, “the government’s goal is to bring safe and reliable electrical power to all Mozambicans by 2030”. He explained that major steps had already been made, and that the capitals of all 154 districts and the headquarters of more than 200 administrative posts had been electrified.

“We are fully aware of the challenge that ‘Energy for All’ represents. But, as a determined people, we are sure that we shall be able to overcome the challenge and we are fighting for this,” the president said

Reports say just about 31% of the Mozambican population has electricity at home and Nyusi believed that, by the end of this year, that figure will reach 34%. He admitted that the figures are still very little compared with the size of the population, “but the steps we have taken are significant,” he pointed out.

The new sub-station would improve the reliability of the power supply in Nampula and Cabo Delgado, and would allow the grid to be expanded to reach a further 37,000 households. The President urged the public to regard electricity not simply as a means to illuminate their homes, but also as a contribution to raising their income. This meant setting up industrial units, particularly in agro-processing, that can use the power.

“Producing electricity has cost”, he said, “and we can only compensate for these if industries are producing. But there won’t be any factories processing cotton, maize or cashew nuts if we don’t produce enough of these crops”.

The government’s partners are responding positively to other parts of the “Energy for All” programme, Nyusi said, Thus funding of 550 million dollars is available for the electricity transmission line from Temane in Inhambane province (the site of major natural gas fields) to Maputo. That line will be 560 kilometres long and will include three new sub-stations.

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