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Improving Power Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Integrated Role for the Mining Industry?

Smit, Anton LU (2011) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN56 20111
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a severe infrastructure deficit, particularly in the power sector and this is broadly recognised as a barrier to poverty alleviation, economic growth and sustainable development in the region. At the same time, the region is rich in natural resources and the mining sector, which already makes a significant contribution to national economies is currently expanding and this growth is expected to continue. Given the importance of electricity to development, there are a number of organisations and a large body of literature devoted to improving power infrastructure in the region. However, to date, the role of large, politically powerful end-users such as the mining industry is largely unconsidered and this... (More)
Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a severe infrastructure deficit, particularly in the power sector and this is broadly recognised as a barrier to poverty alleviation, economic growth and sustainable development in the region. At the same time, the region is rich in natural resources and the mining sector, which already makes a significant contribution to national economies is currently expanding and this growth is expected to continue. Given the importance of electricity to development, there are a number of organisations and a large body of literature devoted to improving power infrastructure in the region. However, to date, the role of large, politically powerful end-users such as the mining industry is largely unconsidered and this thesis argues that this should change. The mining industry is dependent on a reliable supply of electricity and is likely to take steps to secure this. For this reason, a Resource Dependency Theory conceptual framework was developed from the organisational behaviour literature and used to identify and classify the strategies the mining industry in Zambia and South Africa is adopting to manage its dependence on the electricity sector. Both of these countries are large-scale mineral producers and have a recent history of power supply unreliability. This thesis shows that their mining sectors are actively engaged in power sector development. The mining industry is represented on many of the boards and committees relevant to power, actively lobbies for regulatory change, is influential in sector planning, and often makes a direct contribution to national infrastructure stocks. Internally, Demand Side Management measures within the sector have a significant impact on grid stability. Many of the steps the mining industry is taking are congruent with solutions touted by the power development community, such as regulatory reform, the enhancement of institutional basics within utilities and the encouragement of regional trade in power. It is therefore recommended that the power development community take the mining industry into consideration as it seeks to improve the electricity sector in the region. Possible avenues to do this include taking into account the growth of the mining industry during power sector planning, using the political influence of mining to promote positive change and to enhance DSM measures in the economy.
Keywords: Mining, (Less)
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author
Smit, Anton LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN56 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Mining, electricity, sustainable development, demand side management, resource dependency
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2011:11
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
2224146
date added to LUP
2011-12-07 11:44:03
date last changed
2011-12-07 11:44:03
@misc{2224146,
  abstract     = {Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a severe infrastructure deficit, particularly in the power sector and this is broadly recognised as a barrier to poverty alleviation, economic growth and sustainable development in the region. At the same time, the region is rich in natural resources and the mining sector, which already makes a significant contribution to national economies is currently expanding and this growth is expected to continue. Given the importance of electricity to development, there are a number of organisations and a large body of literature devoted to improving power infrastructure in the region. However, to date, the role of large, politically powerful end-users such as the mining industry is largely unconsidered and this thesis argues that this should change. The mining industry is dependent on a reliable supply of electricity and is likely to take steps to secure this. For this reason, a Resource Dependency Theory conceptual framework was developed from the organisational behaviour literature and used to identify and classify the strategies the mining industry in Zambia and South Africa is adopting to manage its dependence on the electricity sector. Both of these countries are large-scale mineral producers and have a recent history of power supply unreliability. This thesis shows that their mining sectors are actively engaged in power sector development. The mining industry is represented on many of the boards and committees relevant to power, actively lobbies for regulatory change, is influential in sector planning, and often makes a direct contribution to national infrastructure stocks. Internally, Demand Side Management measures within the sector have a significant impact on grid stability. Many of the steps the mining industry is taking are congruent with solutions touted by the power development community, such as regulatory reform, the enhancement of institutional basics within utilities and the encouragement of regional trade in power. It is therefore recommended that the power development community take the mining industry into consideration as it seeks to improve the electricity sector in the region. Possible avenues to do this include taking into account the growth of the mining industry during power sector planning, using the political influence of mining to promote positive change and to enhance DSM measures in the economy.
Keywords: Mining,},
  author       = {Smit, Anton},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Mining,electricity,sustainable development,demand side management,resource dependency},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Improving Power Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Integrated Role for the Mining Industry?},
  year         = {2011},
}