African energy ministers, from Somalia, Sudan and Libya, called for Turkish investors on Wednesday to invest in their countries' energy sectors.
Speaking on the sidelines of the eight International Energy Congress and Expo in Turkey's capital Ankara, Somalia's Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim talked about challenges his country faces in economy and energy.
"Somalia faces challenges for economic development. High electricity cost is a challenge for the domestic industry, and lack of electricity is a challenge for households," he said.
"Most issues revolve around affordable access to electricity. Only 10 percent has access to electricity [in the country] and our people pay the highest tariff in the world with $1.5 dollars per kilowatt," he said.
Stating that electricity is currently generated in Somalia from imported diesel fuel, Ibrahim said "We are trying to produce petroleum and natural gas to decrease our dependency on imported oil. In near future, we will offer production sharing agreements and provide exploration licenses."
Despite these challenges, the minister said renewable energy offers unique opportunities for Somalia, and called for foreign investment.
"Renewables, like biomass, solar and wind power, offer affordable energy, and provide good opportunities for investment," he said.
"Somalia is very appreciative of Turkey’s support," Ibrahim told, and added that his country is creating regulations for a healthy business environment.
Sudan was another country that needs Turkish investors to develop its natural resources and energy sector.
Mohamed Zayed Awad, Sudan's Minister of Oil, said his country has rich and diverse energy sources, such as hydropower, solar, wind, thermal, oil and natural gas, and added that Sudan has a bright future for renewable energy.
"Sudan has put great emphasis on renewable energy resources, particularly solar. During 1970s and 1980s, solar energy was used in rural areas, lighting schools and hospitals. Unfortunately, since 1990s, all donors stopped funding the projects for some political reasons. The American embargo also hindered the development of the energy sector, and we continued with limited resources," he explained.
Stating that Sudan has developed a good infrastructure for the oil sector in the last 20 years, Awad said his country has two refineries, but needs new refining capacity, and has huge natural gas reserves, which could not be utilized yet.
"We now have energy in cities, but it is missing in the rural areas. Sudan is seeking donors and investors, especially from Turkey, to develop natural resources and renewable energy. The energy sources are there, in the country. And the environment for business development, all the regulations are in place," he said.
Libya was another African country that called for investment from Turkey for its energy sector.
Mashallah Al-Zawie, Libya's Minister of Oil of the National Salvation, said the world faces many economic challenges, and energy is at the center of those challenges.
"In Libya, after peaceful resolution of our internal conflict, we are waiting Turkish investors in construction and electricity," he said.
"We can coordinate with one another for long-term oil and gas relations with energy producing companies in Turkey," he added.
By Ovunc Kutlu