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Eskom, Eneo, Senelec… African governments faced with spiralling power costs

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Wealth creators

By Bilal Mousjid

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Posted on March 15, 2023 16:24

Senelec’s Bel Air generation plant, in Dakar’s industrial zone
Senelec’s Bel Air generation plant, in Dakar’s industrial zone © Youri Lenquette pour JA

Africa’s national electricity companies are caught between the anvil of spiralling energy bills and the hammer of social anger over rising prices.

“Governments are in a difficult situation,” concedes Heba Samir, regional sales manager at Elsewedy Electric, the Egyptian electrical equipment giant present in nineteen African countries.

And with good reason: the soaring energy bill due to the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine has greatlyincreased the cost of producing electricity. National companies are therefore faced with a dilemma: keep prices unchanged at the risk of seeing their already high deficit increase, or pass on the increase to consumers and risk fuelling the anger of the population, which is already suffering from galloping inflation in consumer goods.

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